Centrist politician Yair Lapid is due to announce a new coalition that will end Netanyahu’s 12-year rule in Israel.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s opponents are finalising a coalition government to end his 12-year rule – the longest by any Israeli premier – before a Wednesday midnight (21:00 GMT) deadline.
The union came into being after far-right leader Naftali Bennett, a kingmaker whose Yamina party has six seats in parliament, joined hands with centrist Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party. With 17 seats, Yesh Atid is the second-largest party in the 120-member Knesset – the Israeli parliament.
Here are the latest updates:
Israel’s parliament elected the even-keeled Labour veteran Isaac Herzog as its 11th president.
Herzog, 60, beat former headmistress Miriam Peretz to replace President Reuven Rivlin, who was elected in 2014 to the largely ceremonial position decided by the parliament, or Knesset.
Herzog, who will assume his position on July 9, succeeded over Peretz, 67, a former headmistress who lost two children in Israel’s wars and is known as “the mother of sons”.
A centrist opposition leader, Yair Lapid was once known largely for his successful career as a journalist and popular television host.
He is the Tel Aviv-born son of the fiercely secular former justice minister Yosef “Tommy” Lapid, who also left journalism to enter politics.
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Yair Lapid’s negotiations to establish the so-called “coalition for change” appeared to have stalled, according to Israeli daily newspaper Yediot Ahronot.
Its report cited sources familiar with the details of the talks saying that many outstanding issues have already been resolved, including ministerial appointments.
However, there is still disagreement over a seat on the committee for judicial appointments, a position already promised to Labour leader Merav Michaeli.
Another obstacle appears to be the demand of Ra’am leader Mansour Abbas to reverse, or at least temporarily suspend, a law that facilitates the demolition of homes build in violation of code, most prevalent in Arab communities.
Naftali Bennett is close to replacing Israel’s veteran prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
Bennett is a multimillionaire former tech entrepreneur who made a name in politics with right-wing, religious-nationalist rhetoric.
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Israel’s opposition leader moved closer to unseating Netanyahu after agreeing terms with several parties, including one led by Defence Minister Benny Gantz.
Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party and Gantz’s centrist Blue and White said in a joint statement they had “agreed on the outlines of the government and core issues relating to the strengthening of democracy and Israeli society”.
Israeli politicians battling to unseat Netanyahu are racing against the clock on the final day of talks to build a governing coalition comprised of bitter ideological rivals.
They have until a minute before midnight (20:59 GMT) on Wednesday to cobble together an administration that would end 12 years of rule by Israel’s longest-serving prime minister.
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