The State of Israel’s 35th government was sworn in on Sunday during a special ceremony in the Knesset plenum, following more than a year of political deadlock, with three consecutive election cycles. The vote of confidence in the new government passed with 73 in favor and 46 against.
“This is an important day for the State of Israel,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared.
“The new government was formed by the will of most Israeli citizens, and it will serve all the citizens of Israel: Jews and non-Jews. Together, with heavy responsibility, Blue and White leader Benny Gantz and I chose to work towards establishing an emergency government and national unity to avoid another election within a year.
Gantz, who spoke after Netanyahu, said the formation of the new government ends “the worst political crisis Israel has known is over,” adding that now that a new government has been formed “it is time to end this era of fragmentation and incitement and begin the era of unity and reconciliation.”
According to the coalition agreement between the Likud and Blue and White parliamentary groups, Netanyahu will serve as prime minister for the first 18 months of the government’s tenure, while Gantz will serve as alternately prime minister and defense minister, and then assume the premiership for the second half of the government’s term.