Netanyahu’s New Coalition Receives Knesset Approval

Knesset plenum approves Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s newest coalition by a vote of 61 to 59 in Israel’s 34th government.

By Elad Benari


The Knesset on Thursday night approved Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s new coalition by a narrow vote of 61 to 59.

“I determine the government has won the confidence of the Knesset. Congratulations,” Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein said following the vote.

As expected, the vote was preceded by a heated debate in the Knesset between coalition and opposition.

As Netanyahu addressed the Knesset to present his new government, he faced a raucous, disrespectful plenum. Three Arab MKs were ejected from the plenum, one after the other, as Netanyahu began speaking, due to loud and incessant interruptions.

The swearing in of the coalition came following 24 hours of marathon talks between the Prime Minister and members of his Likud party as he assigned them ministerial posts.

MK Miri Regev was appointed Minister of Culture and Sport, an appointment which was met with criticism from some artists.

MK Danny Danon will be Minister of Science, Technology and Space. Moshe Ya’alon will continue as Defense Minister, and Ofir Akunis will be appointed “a minister in the Communications Ministry.”

In addition the prime minister told Minister Yuval Steinitz that he is appointing him as Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, as well as Minister in Charge of Nuclear Energy, and a member of the Security-Diplomacy cabinet.

MK Tzipi Hotovely will be Deputy Foreign Minister, while Gilad Erdan appears to have been left out, despite having the #2 spot on the Likud list. Erdan reportedly called Netanyahu and informed him that if he doesn’t get the portfolios he demanded – the Interior Ministry and the Ministry for Public Security – he will not take part in the next government.


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