Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s consecutive 12-year rule, the longest in Israeli history, is scheduled to end at 4 pm. on Sunday, June 13, with Netanyahu being replaced by his former chief of staff Naftali Bennett, head of Yamina with only seven seats, who will be sworn in as Israel’s 13th prime minister.
The new 36th government of Israel will be the first in Israeli history to be supported by an Arab Israeli party and the first since 2013 that won’t include Chareidi parties.
Dissent in the coalition, which holds a razor-thin majority of 61 Mk, already began on Sunday morning in Avigdor Leiberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party, when MK Eli Avidar, who was not appointed as the head of the Agriculture Ministry as he wanted, announced on Sunday morning he will be operating independently in the new government and will not commit to voting with Yisrael Beiteinu or being part of the party. However, he confirmed that he will vote to approve the new government.
Barring any additional last-minute issues, the Knesset will convene at 4 p.m. in the presence of President Reuven Rivlin and Chief Justice Esther Hayut to swear in the new government. Bennett will speak first, introducing his coalition, the new government’s agenda, and its ministers, followed by a speech by his coalition partner Yair Lapid.
Outgoing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who is slated to continue leading the Likud as head of the opposition, will speak next, and all Knesset parties will then have nine minutes each to speak from the plenum.
Finally, a vote will take place to replace Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin (Likud) with Yesh Atid MK Mickey Levy, who will then preside over the Knesset vote to swear in the government and its new ministers. The members of the new government will then travel to the President’s Residence for the ceremonial group photograph together with President Reuven Rivlin who is ending his seven-year term on July 9.
At 8:30 pm., a celebratory gathering will be held at the Knesset’s Chagall Hall at 8:30 p.m., and at 9 p.m. a celebratory meeting of the new cabinet will be held in the Knesset’s Jerusalem hall.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)