World Netanyahu's 12-year tenure ends as Israel's parliament approves new government
Infographic: What you need to know about Israel’s military
A longtime recipient of US military aid, Israel has developed a domestic arms industry and become a key global supplier.Israel’s 11-day military campaign killed at least 253 people, including 66 children, in Gaza. At least 12 people were killed in Israel by rockets fired by Palestinian armed groups in Gaza. The UN Human Rights Council has set up a panel to investigate both sides for possible war crimes and human rights group Amnesty International has renewed its call for a halt to US weapons sales to Israel.
Israel's parliament has voted in favour of a new coalition government, ending Benjamin Netanyahu's 12-year consecutive tenure as premier.
The vote was 60-59, putting ultra-nationalist Naftali Bennett, a hi-tech millionaire and Orthodox Jew, as the new leader in a power-sharing deal with centrist leader and former TV host Yair Lapid, who will take over as PM in 2023 for two years.
Mr Netanyahu, 71, has vowed to lead his Likud Party back to power and "topple this dangerous government and return to lead the country in our way".
Israel crunch vote looms as anti-Netanyahu bloc seeks power
Israel's parliament was to decide Monday when parties united against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be able to make their bid to topple him, but the combative incumbent has refused to go without a fight. Tensions were high a day after Netanyahu accused his opponents of "the greatest election fraud" in the history of democracy, while his rival Naftali Bennet urged him to "let go" rather than wage a last-ditch "scorched earth" campaign.Tensions were high a day after Netanyahu accused his opponents of "the greatest election fraud" in the history of democracy, while his rival Naftali Bennet urged him to "let go" rather than wage a last-ditch "scorched earth" campaign.
He made clear he had no plans to relinquish leadership of the right-wing Likud party, which remains the largest party, so will become leader of the opposition.
Mr Netanyahu sat silently during the vote and after it was approved, he stood up to leave the chamber before turning around and shaking Mr Bennett's hand then sat briefly in the opposition leader's chair before departing.
US President Joe Biden congratulated Mr Bennett, 49, and Mr Lapid on their win during a phone call and said he is looking forward to working with the Israeli PM "to strengthen all aspects of the close and enduring relationship between our two nations".
Israel Drops Benjamin Netanyahu but Democrats and Palestinians See Little Hope
A new coalition will end Netanyahu's long reign, but U.S.-Israeli tensions will remain over the fate of the Palestinians.A tough, controversial, calculating politician, Netanyahu has become symbolic of the rightward shift of Israeli politics of recent decades. But that conservative sentiment is bigger than any one politician, and his departure is not a sign that Israel is pivoting away from the status quo Netanyahu has helped craft.
He added: "Israel has no better friend than the United States. The bond that unites our people is evidence of our shared values and decades of close cooperation and as we continue to strengthen our partnership, the United States remains unwavering in its support for Israel's security.
"My administration is fully committed to working with the new Israeli government to advance security, stability, and peace for Israelis, Palestinians, and people throughout the broader region."
Boris Johnson gave his congratulations to the two new leaders and said it is an exciting time for the two countries to continue working together towards peace and prosperity.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab congratulated Mr Bennett and Mr Lapid and said the UK looked forward to continuing to work with Israel on securing peace in the region.
With Days Left in Office, Benjamin Netanyahu Accuses Opposition of Election Fraud
Israel's departing prime minister says a "deep state" conspiracy unseated him.Netanyahu said that a "deep state" conspiracy unseated him and that the former opposition party assuming rule on Sunday betrayed voters. "They are uprooting the good and replacing it with the bad and dangerous," he told the conservative TV station Channel 20 this week. "I fear for the destiny of the nation.
The new administration, comprising an unprecedented coalition of small and mid-sized parties from across the spectrum, won the vote of confidence in the 120-seat Knesset.
Mr Bennet's party only holds six seats and the fragile patchwork of parties making up the coalition could collapse if any of its members decide to leave it.
The vote ended a record term of 12 consecutive years for Mr Netanyahu, as well as a turbulent two years of politics that saw four elections, an economically devastating coronavirus outbreak and an 11-day conflict in Gaza in May.
The new government has pledged to heal a nation bitterly divided over the departure of Mr Netanyahu, the most dominant Israeli politician of his generation.
These divisions were evident as Mr Bennett, Mr Netanyahu's former chief of staff, was heckled by supporters of the now-ousted leader in a raucous parliamentary session.
Video: Political shakeup in Israel ousts Netanyahu after 12 years (CBS News)
Israel parliament poised to vote on anti-Netanyahu govt
Israeli lawmakers are to vote Sunday on a "change" coalition government of bitter ideological rivals united by their determination to banish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from power. The crunch Knesset vote will either terminate the hawkish premier's uninterrupted 12-year tenure or return Israel to a stalemate likely to trigger a fifth general election since 2019.
Addressing the Knesset ahead of the vote, Mr Bennett vowed to fight US efforts to revive the Iran nuclear deal, a continuation of Mr Netanyahu's confrontational policy.
"Israel will not allow Iran to arm itself with nuclear weapons," he said. "Israel will not be a party to the agreement and will continue to preserve full freedom of action."
The ruling coalition looks unlike any before in the country's 73-year history. It contains parties with extreme ideological differences, including for the first time a party that represents Israel's 21% Arab minority, Raam.
The leaders are expected to steer clear of drastic moves on international issues such as policy on Palestine, focusing instead on domestic reforms.
But the coalition's fragile majority means that it could collapse even if just one of the eight factions splintered. The groups are united in little more than their opposition to Mr Netanyahu.
Mr Netanyahu had failed to form a government after an election on 23 March, the fourth in two years. His fate was effectively sealed on 2 June, when eight groups with the 61 seats required for a majority signed an agreement.
The fall of “King Bibi”
How Netanyahu’s ouster could change Israel.On Sunday, Netanyahu’s opponents in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, voted to replace him with a “change” coalition: a group of diverse parties from across the Israeli political spectrum united only by their interest in pushing Netanyahu out. The new prime minister is Naftali Bennett, from the far-right Yamina party — though Yair Lapid, from the centrist Yesh Atid party, will have a veto over his decisions.
His trial on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust - allegations he denies - continues.
Analysis: There is a sense of betrayal by some but many think Israel's new PM is the key to breaking the stalemate
By Mark Stone, Middle East correspondent, in Jerusalem
It is a particular quirk of Israeli politics - whether it be the ultimate form of consensus or the ultimate form of democratic dysfunction - that a man with a tiny support base can find himself as prime minister.
Naftali Bennett, 49, is Israel's 13th prime minister. A one-time special forces soldier turned tech entrepreneur of American descent.
He is a millionaire ultra-nationalist, the first Israeli PM to wear the kippah, a former defence minister, former chief of staff to the man he has now ousted and a proud religious hardliner.
But behind that image, is a man who is either pragmatic or simply inconsistent, a fact confirmed by his membership of five different political parties over the last decade and a half.
He made the top job not because the public wanted him there but because he was the only route through which an awkward left-centre-right coalition could form a government.
Among voters to the right there is a feeling of betrayal. How could an ultra-nationalist sign up to a coalition with liberals and Arabs?
Among voters to the left there is a sense a deal has been done with the devil.
Israel's new PM Bennett vows to unite nation
His pledge comes as his government is voted in, ending Benjamin Netanyahu's 12-year hold on power.He said his government "will work for the sake of all the people", adding that the priorities would be reforms in education, health and cutting red tape.
The consensus though, from those who know Bennett and who have observed the compromise through which this coalition was formed, is that the new government actually represents an exciting and unprecedented moment for Israel.
If the coalition can hold, then the process of government can begin once again after 24 months of stagnation.
A budget will be passed. Cabinet positions have been filled with experts in their field - a break from Mr Netanyahu's divide-and-rule tactics.
It is true that on the tricky status quo issues - like the Palestinian conflict - vetos will prevent big breakthroughs.
But the coalition has proved, so far, that consensus between such polarised parties is possible.
Each party leader has an interest in making it work, at least for a few years. And as long as they have Mr Netanyahu in opposition to rally against, it may just last.
Who Is Naftali Bennett? Benjamin Netanyahu Replacement Sees Israel Shift Further Right .
Israel's new Prime Minister Naftali Bennett once described himself as being "more right-wing" than his predecessor Benjamin Netanyahu.Bennett, a 49-year-old adherent to Orthodox Judaism, is widely perceived as a religious ultra-nationalist politician. He has acknowledged being "more right-wing" than Netanyahu, whose coalition governments saw Bennett hold multiple ministerial roles. Bennett has served as minister of economy and religious services, diaspora affairs, education, and defense. When Netanyahu was opposition leader from 2006 until 2008, Bennett worked as his chief of staff.