Israel’s new govt seals coalition deals

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The new Israeli government set to end Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year tenure as prime minister signed its final coalition agreements on Friday, pointedly including term limits.

The coalition of parties from far-right to left is expected to focus mostly on economic and social issues rather than risk exposing internal rifts by trying to address major diplomatic issues such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving leader, will be succeeded on Sunday by a coalition that includes for the first time a party from Israel’s Arab minority.

Under a power-sharing agreement, Naftali Bennett, of the ultra-nationalist Yamina (Rightwards) party, will serve as prime minister for two years.

Bennett on Friday said the coalition “brings to an end two and a half years of political crisis,” although it was unclear how long the coalition’s disparate elements would hold together. He will then hand over to Yair Lapid of the centrist Yesh Atid (There is a Future) party.

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