Yamina Party Leader Naftali Bennett slated to serve as new Israeli premier. (YouTube Screenshot) (YouTube Screenshot)
Naftali Bennett

At the 11th hour, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid signed a coalition agreement with several parties, including the right-wing Yemina and Arab Ra’am parties. The coalition must be finalized in a Knesset vote.

By United with Israel Staff

Just over half an hour before Opposition leader Yair Lapid’s mandate was due to expire, he announced to President Reuven Rivlin that he had succeeded in forming a government to replace Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Dubbed a “unity” government, it was the first time that an Arab party was included in an Israeli government coalition. The parties involved range from the right-wing Yamina and New Hope to the left-wing Meretz and the Arab Ra’am.

Yamina head Naftali Bennett will be the first to serve as prime minister in a rotation with Lapid.

The government “will do everything in its power to unite and connect all parts of Israeli society,” Lapid told the president.

I pledge to you, Mr. President, that this government will work in the service of all Israeli citizens, those who voted for it and those who did not.

“It will also respect its opponents, do everything in its power to unite and connect all parts of Israeli society,” he said.

Negotiations hit a number of roadblocks before the deal was signed. Negotiations will continue in the coming days to resolve remaining differences.

The coalition must be finalized in a Knesset vote within the next 12 days.