Netanyahu out as prime minister after Israeli parliament votes to form a new coalition government

·2 min read
Benjamin Netanyahu
Outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sits during a Knesset session in Jerusalem Sunday, June 13, 2021. AP Photo/Ariel Schalit
  • The Israeli parliament on Sunday voted to form a new coalition government.

  • The vote formally ends Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's 12-year rule.

  • Naftali Bennett assumed the role of prime minister while Netanyahu became the opposition leader.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The Israeli parliament on Sunday voted to form a new coalition government, unseating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has led the country for the last 12 years.

Naftali Bennett, a longtime Netanyahu ally turned adversary, assumed the role of prime minister and was sworn in Sunday, according to a report from the Associated Press. Netanyahu, Israel's longest-serving prime minister, will continue as leader of the Likud party and is now the opposition leader.

The vote to form a new coalition government among eight political parties passed by a narrow 60-59 margin, according to the report.

"On behalf of the American people, I congratulate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Alternate Prime Minister, and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, and all the members of the new Israeli cabinet," President Joe Biden said in a statement Sunday.

"Israel has no better friend than the United States," he continued. "The bond that unites our people is evidence of our shared values and decades of close cooperation and as we continue to strengthen our partnership, the United States remains unwavering in its support for Israel's security."

As Insider's Joshua Zitser previously reported, Bennett is the head of the country's right-wing Yamina party and is an ultra-nationalist multimillionaire.

According to the AP, Netanyahu sat quietly during the vote. After the vote, he shook Bennett's hand and briefly sat in the opposition leader's chair before he walked out of the chamber, the AP report said.

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