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Netanyahu Government to Be Dissolved in Israel With New Prime Minister Set to Take Over

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seems to have finally lost his grip on control of the Israeli government and will be replaced as Prime Minister by the leader of a coalition of Israeli political parties led by Yair Lapid, the head of the centrist Yesh Atid party.

I don’t pretend to be an expert on Israel’s complicated parliamentary government system, but as I understand what has happened, in elections held in March, Netanyahu secured the first opportunity to form a new coalition government when his Likud party won the largest number of seats in the 120 member Knesset, but not an outright majority.  It takes the vote of 61 seats to form a new government, and under Israeli law, Netanyahu had a prescribed period of time in which to do so, but he was unsuccessful.  That opened the door to Lapid’s efforts with his Yesh Atid party having secured the second-highest number of seats in the Knesset, and he had until midnight on Wednesday to accomplish that task. It is being reported that approximately 30 minutes before the midnight deadline, Lapid informed the President of Israel that he had reached an agreement with the leaders of seven other parties, and altogether they controlled the minimum number of 61 seats needed to form a coalition government to take the place of Netanyahu’s coalition.

The new governing coalition consists of eight parties that stretch across the spectrum of Israeli politics, signaling that the agreement is less about Israeli government policies and more about an agreement among the group that Netanyahu’s time in office needed to come to an end.  Among the parties that joined the coalition to oust Netanyahu was the right-wing Orthodox Yamina party, the primary conservative challenger to Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party.  Part of the agreement struck between Lapid and Naftali Bennett, leader of the Yamina party, is that Bennett will serve as the next Prime Minister, and after two years Lapid will take over as Prime Minister.

But the most significant development is that the coalition includes an Aral-Israeli party — the Raam party, which is Islamist.  Including the

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