President Peres grants Netanyahu a two-week extension to form Israel's new government.
President Peres grants Netanyahu a two-week extension to form Israel's new government, March 2, 2013. Photo by Kobi Gideon
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Prime Minister Netanyahu informed President Shimon Peres Saturday night that he has successfully formed a government.

His announcement came after Yesh Atid and Habayit Hayehudi signed coalition agreements on Friday, bringing the negotiations between their parties and Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu to an end. With the parties signing the agreement, Israel's coalition was formed one day before the extension granted to Netanyahu by the president was due to expire.

The 33rd government will be sworn into Knesset on Monday.

Speaking on Friday after the agreement was signed, Netanyahu said, "We will work together in a new government with cooperation for the sake of all Israel's citizens. We will work to strengthen the security of the State of Israel and to improve the quality of life for Israeli citizens."

Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid managed to hold his first meeting with outgoing Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz on Friday in preparation of assuming the position. On his Facebook page, Lapid responded to criticisms of his appointment to finance minister. "I knew ahead of time what the risks involved were. I know of the argument that Netanyahu offered me the position so that I would fail. Even those who do not believe Netanyahu should know that if the finance minister fails, he takes the prime minister down with him."

Lapid added that he intends on conducting a "daily war to protect the Israeli middle class, [who are] suffering from two decades of neglect."

Habayit Hayehudi chairman Naftali Bennett said on Friday that "with the help of God, we signed. The 33rd government of Israel is on its way. I wish Prime Minister Netanyahu, and all of us, the ministers of government, to remember that we are servants of the public, committed to the people of Israel and all citizens of Israel."