After reaching a late-night deal on a new coalition, Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu signed an agreement Thursday giving a senior role to the far-right Jewish Home that firmly opposes a Palestinian state.
Following six weeks of intensive negotiations, the Israeli premier finally managed to forge a government late on Wednesday, just an hour before a legal deadline. Had he failed, he would have forfeited his position as premier.
The composition of Netanyahu’s rightwing, religious coalition marks a new shift to the right by giving increased prominence to Naftali Bennett’s nationalist-religious Jewish Home party, which strongly backs settlement activity.
The move looks set to likely to complicate Israel’s damaged relationship with the Palestinians and further strain ties with the international community.
But with a wafer-thin majority of 61 of the Knesset’s 120 seats, the coalition looked set to face an uphill battle for survival, with commentators unanimous that Netanyahu would seek to broaden it out in the coming months.
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