By Salim Yunusa
The Knesset convened earlier today to hold a confidence vote on the new coalition government. Yair Lapid, the leader of Israel’s largest opposition party Yesh Atid, was given a mandate to form a coalition last month, after acting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu missed the deadline.
Naftali Bennett, leader of the right-wing Yamina party, has become Israel’s new prime minister, unseating the country’s longest-serving head of government Benjamin Netanyahu, who had been in office since 2009.
The legislative body earlier voted by a narrow 60-59 margin to approve the new diverse coalition government.
Just moments after the vote, Bennett and members of his Cabinet were sworn in into office.
Netanyahu, seemingly despondent, shook his successor’s hand and occupied the opposition leader’s chair, as seen in a live broadcast of the vote.
US President Joe Biden congratulated the new prime minister a few minutes after and said he was looking forward to working with the new Israeli government to strengthen cooperation.