Naftali Bennett, the head of the Yamina Party, will take over as Prime Minister of Israel on Sunday, marking the first significant leadership shift in the country’s history.
Agreements were reached with eight parties on Friday to establish a new coalition government that will depose Benjamin Netanyahu, the country’s longest-serving prime leader.
Netanyahu was unsuccessful in his attempts over more than two years to form a ruling coalition. He has held the prime minister post since 2009 and served an earlier stint between 1996 and 1999. He will relinquish the role amid corruption inquiries.
Under a coalition plan announced last week, Bennett will serve as prime minister for two years and then will be succeeded by Yesh Atid Party leader Yair Lapid in 2023.
“The Israeli public deserves a functioning and responsible government which places the good of the country at the top of its agenda. That’s what this unity government has been formed to do. All the partners in this government are committed, first and foremost, to the people of Israel,” Lapid said.
Members of the unlikely alliance, including the United Arab List, the only Arab party to participate in national politics since 1974, banded together to depose Netanyahu.
The coalition will aim to improve the nation’s healthcare system, religious systems, and combat crime in the Arab world.
Amid the course of his presidency, Netanyahu has been linked to several controversies, and earlier this year he was subjected to a corruption investigation over allegations that he paid for favourable media coverage of his administration.