Israel’s opposition leader Yair Lapid has announced the exit of Benjamin Netanyahu, the country’s longest-serving Prime Minister after parties strike a coalition deal.
According to media reports, a coalition of Israeli political parties has announced to form a new government that will unseat Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year rule.
Under the coalition deal, Lapid, leader of the centrist party of Yesh Atid, and Bennett, leader of the nationalist party of Yamina, will rotate the premiership.
Bennett will serve first as Prime Minister, the reports added.
In a statement, Lapid said, “The government will work to serve all the citizens of Israel including those who aren’t members of it, will respect those who oppose it, and do everything in its power to unite all parts of Israeli society.”
Israeli political analysts widely expected Netanyahu to try every possible political tactic to make this happen.
“Calm down. Netanyahu’s still prime minister for a few more days until the confidence vote and he’s going to fight every inch of the way to deny the new government its wafer-thin majority. This is still very far from over,” Anshel Pfeffer, political analyst, wrote on Twitter.
Netanyahu, restrains 30 seats in the 120-member Knesset, almost twice as many as Lapid’s Yesh Atid party. The Israeli premier is allied with at least three other religious and nationalist parties.
During a 12-year run in the top office, Israel’s longest-serving leader has been an often polarizing figure at home and abroad.
Netanyahu, 71, has sought to discredit the Bennett-Lapid alliance, saying it would endanger Israel’s security.
Lapid has campaigned under a pledge to “return sanity” to Israel, focusing on Netanyahu’s corruption trial on charges which he denies.
“This government will work for all Israel’s citizens, those who voted for it and those who did not. It will respect its opponents and do all it can to unites and connect all parts of Israeli society,” Lapid said on Twitter.
According to the international news agency, Netanyahu is accused of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust in three separate cases.
Case 1,000: Fraud and breach of trust: he is accused of receiving gifts such as cigars and bottles of champagne from powerful businessmen in exchange for favours
Case 2,000: Fraud and breach of trust: Mr Netanyahu is accused of offering to help improve the circulation of the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot for positive coverage
Case 4,000: Bribery, fraud and breach of trust: Mr Netanyahu is accused of promoting regulatory decisions favourable to the controlling shareholder in the Bezeq telecom giant, Shaul Elovitch, in exchange for positive coverage by Mr Elovitch’s Walla news site