After delay, Israel’s 35th government sworn in

May 18, 2020 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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Israel’s 35th government, headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was sworn in on Sunday, as 18 months of political turmoil seemingly came to an end and after last-minute complications delayed the ceremony that was slated for Thursday night.

The Knesset Plenum. (Knesset Spokesman)

The government of 36 ministers, the largest in Israel’s history, will be led by Netanyahu for the coming 18 months, and he will then rotate with Blue and White Chairman Benny Gantz, with whom he established a unity government.

At the Knesset plenum, Netanyahu discussed the government’s basic guidelines, the composition of the government, and introduced the long list of new ministers.

Former IDF chief of staff MK Gabi Ashkenazi will serve as foreign minister, Israel Katz will be announced the finance minister, Avi Nissenkorn will be the justice minister and Yuli Edelstein will be the health minister.

Amir Peretz will be the minister of economy and Itzik Shmuli will serve as the welfare minister. Yoaz Hendel will be appointed communications minister.

Yariv Levin will be voted in as the new Knesset Speaker.

Netanyahu’s remarks to the plenum were interrupted continuously by members of the opposition, who highlighted the fact that his trial on three corruption charges will commence in 10 days.

The mistrust between the main coalition partners, Likud and Blue and White, is significant, and several pundits have speculated that Israel may face early elections again.

The suspicion between the two parties led two the massive-sized government and a complicated agreement which may face significant challenges by the High Court of Justice.

When doling out the various portfolios, Netanyahu left behind the Yemina party, his former coalition partner, as well as several senior Likud Members of Knesset, creating a reality in which he may face opposition from within his party in the future.

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