BENJAMIN Netanyahu is no longer Israel’s Prime Minister, after a shocking vote by the Knesset (Israel’s unicameral parliament).
The vote was nail-bitingly close, with 60 voting in favour of ousting Israel’s longest-serving PM, and 59 against.
Under a new coalition deal, right-wing Yamina party leader Bennett becomes Israel’s next prime minister for the next two years. Then, in August 2023, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid takes over for the following two years.
In a speech to the Knesset, Bennett outlined several points. He said that renewing the nuclear deal with Iran is a mistake that will “once again lend legitimacy to one of the most discriminatory and violent regimes in the world.”
He also added that Israel will not allow Iran to be equipped with nuclear weapons: “Israel is not party to the agreement, and will maintain full freedom to act.”
On Gaza, he said he hopes the ceasefire in the south is maintained: “But if Hamas again chooses the path of violence against Israeli civilians, it will encounter a wall of iron.”
He also thanked President Joe Biden, for standing alongside Israel during the last operation in Gaza and for his longstanding commitment to the security of Israel: “My government will make an effort to deepen and nurture relations with our friends in both parties — bipartisan. If there are disputes, we will manage them with fundamental trust, and mutual respect” he said.