Israel’s new government was sworn in on Sunday, bringing an end to more than a year of political stalemate and preventing a fourth round of elections.
According to the terms of the coalition deal reached last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will continue to serve as premier for 18 months. Blue and White head Benny Gantz will serve as vice premier during that time, after which he will take over as prime minister for the next 18 months, while Netanyahu becomes vice premier.
“The people wanted unity, and that is what it got,” Netanyahu told the Knesset, according to Reuters. Netanyahu has been prime minister since 2009 and is facing a corruption trial, slated to begin next week.
The new government—the largest in Israeli history, with 36 ministers—is planning to annex the Jordan Valley and Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria starting in July, under the aegis of the U.S. “Peace to Prosperity” plan, aka the “deal of the century.”
“The coronavirus crisis is an excuse to hold a corrupt celebration at the taxpayers’ expense. You are establishing the biggest and most wasteful government in Israeli history,” said Lapid, according to Reuters.