Netanyahu Tells President: I Succeeded in Forming Gov’t, Swearing-in Expected Thursday

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday formally informed President Reuven Rivlin and Knesset Speaker Benny Gantz that he had succeeded in forming a government, which is expected to be sworn in on Thursday night.

Netanyahu's announcement comes after a last-moment meeting with Naftali Bennett, who heads the right-wing Yamina alliance, slated for Wednesday night, was cancelled, leaving the party out of the government.

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The emergency government, inflated to a record 36 ministries  and 16 deputy ministers, will be sworn in after a new Knesset speaker is elected by lawmakers, 48 hours after Gantz resigned from the position.

Netanyahu’s Likud and Gantz’s Kahol Lavan, as well as all other coalition parties submitted their coalition agreements and policy guidelines for the new government to the Knesset secretariat Wednesday night.

According to the policy guidelines, the government will form a national reconciliation cabinet and “will act to bridge the chasms of Israeli society.

According to the coalition agreement between Likud and ultra-Orthodox party Shas, both sides have agreed to temporarily enshrine in law the draft bill proposed by the Israel Defense Forces and the Defense Ministry, including the “required amendments derived from recognition in the importance of Torah studies.”

The agreement adds that the government will formulate a new comprehensive law, conceded to by all the coalition parties, “while acting in accordance with the policy that the State of Israel will not limit the quota of those studying the Torah.”