Benjamin Netanyahu has been sworn in as Israel’s new prime minister at the head of a unity government with former rival Benny Gantz, ending a nearly 18-month political crisis.
The unity deal with former military chief of staff Gantz means Netanyahu had been able to hung on to power for a record fifth term despite corruption charges against him and a looming trial.
Gantz, who is due to replace Netanyahu as prime minister in November 2021, was sworn in as defence minister minutes after Netanyahu.
The ceremony comes after three elections in under a year – the last on March 2 – ended without a clear winner.
Gantz had said that the need for a stable Israeli government to tackle the coronavirus outbreak drove him to break his vow never to serve with Netanyahu.
According to deal between the two sides, Netanyahu may ask his cabinet or the Knesset as early as July 1 to vote on annexing West Bank land with Jewish settlements.
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