Benjamin Netanyahu officially reported this Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s Likud party announced on Wednesday that it had succeeded in forming a government.
In what was a last-minute announcement, Netanyahu tweeted 10 minutes before the deadline expired, “It worked.”
Netanyahu, who actually served as prime minister for 15 years until he was ousted last year, has until midnight local time (5 p.m. ET) Wednesday to form a government after the Nov. 1 election.
The new Israeli government is likely to be the most right-wing in Israel’s history, including people appointed to ministerial posts who were once considered on the fringes of ultra-nationalist Israeli politics.
Members of Netanyahu’s Likud party are expected to fill some of the most important ministerial posts, such as foreign ministers, defense minister and justice minister.
Itamar Ben Gvir, leader of the Jewish Power Party, will take on the newly expanded General Security role, renamed Minister of National Security, to oversee the police in Israel as well as some police activities in the occupied West Bank.
Bezalel Smotrich, leader of the religious Zionist party, was appointed finance minister, though he was also given the power to appoint the head of Israel’s military, which among its duties handles border crossings and permits for the Palestinians.
Aryeh Deri, leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, is expected to hold the posts of interior minister and health minister, while he is expected to be a representative of United Torah Judaism, the other ultra-Orthodox party in the five-party coalition. housing Minister.
Not all of the ministerial positions were announced as of Wednesday evening.
Special legislation must be passed in the coming days before Deri, Ben Gvir and Smotrich are sworn into office. Deri needs the passage of a law to be able to serve as a minister despite his criminal conviction for tax offences.
Ben Gvir needs legislation because his position expands the powers normally granted to the Minister of Public Security, and Smotrich needs new legislation that gives him ministerial authority within the Defense Ministry.
All three pieces of legislation are seen as controversial and have voices outside of Netanyahu’s political opposition speaking out against it, including security officials.
The new government must be sworn in within a week of being notified to the Israeli parliament, the Knesset — probably before January 2.
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