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Sunday is the day for the swearing-in of the new Knesset and the end of the Netanyahu-era – how is it going to unfold?

With cautious optimism, the “change bloc” looks ahead to taking the reins of the Israeli government after rebuffing attacks and avoiding defections in the past few weeks

(L-R) Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, Yamina chair Naftali Bennett and New Hope head Gideon Sa'ar at a meeting of the heads of the would-be-coalition in Tel Aviv, June 6, 2021. (Photo: Yesh Atid Twitter feed)

Israel is about to enter a new season.

With coalition agreements signed and sealed among the eight parties that will comprise the new majority leadership in Israel’s parliament, the new government is set to be sworn in on Sunday.

After 12 years with the politically savvy Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister, most Israelis have remained skeptical that the new government would survive to see this day. Netanyahu has found ways to keep his grip on power through many crises.

And until they are sworn in, the party leaders who worked to unseat him will probably be holding their breath until the last minute, lest any final attempt to foil their plans be met with success.

On Friday, the eight parties, which range from left to right, signed their coalition agreements and divvied up the cabinet positions – even managing to streamline the government a bit.

“The signing of these agreements brings to an end two and a half years of political crisis,” Prime Minister-designate Naftali Bennett said. “The government will work for all the Israeli public – religious, secular, ultra-Orthodox, Arab – without exception, as one. We will work together, out of partnership and national responsibility, and I believe we will succeed.”

Yair Lapid, the head of the Yesh Atid party, managed to broker the coalition and become the first leader bring an Israeli-Arab party into the government.

“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. 

As for tomorrow, official proceedings should begin at 4 p.m. local time.

The first item on the agenda is to vote for a new Knesset speaker. Then Bennett will present the “coalition’s designated prime minister, alternate prime minister, the guiding principles of their government, its composition, its ministers, the dates of any planned changes in roles, and the affinity of each of the ministers to either Bennett’s right-wing bloc or Lapid’s center-left bloc in the power-sharing government,” according to the Times of Israel.

The new government will shrink by three cabinet positions and committed itself to tackle several domestic issues including building two more hospitals to deal with the flailing health system, requiring competition in kosher certification, fighting crime in the Arab sector and possibly even backing term limits.

Nicole Jansezian is the news editor for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and senior correspondent for ALL ISRAEL NEWS

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