Benjamin Netanyahu ousted as Israeli PM, ends 12-year rule of Jewish state

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Benjamin Netanyahu, the longest serving Israeli leader, was ousted as prime minister on Sunday after the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, voted to form a new government made up of a coalition of opposition groups pledging to heal caustic divisions caused by Netanyahu’s 12-year rule.

Netanyahu had failed to form a government after a March 23 election — the fourth in two years — and could not block the power-sharing agreement between the groups, headed by his former defense minister Naftali Bennett and opposition leader Yair Lapid.

Bennett and Lapid will each serve two years as prime minister on a rotating basis. 

Speaking earlier Sunday, Naftali thanked Netanyahu for his “lengthy and achievement-filled service on behalf of the State of Israel” and pledged to be prime minister for “all Israelis.”

Naftali said the new government would “end a terrible period of hatred among the people of Israel.”

With Post wires

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