Bennett Government Meets With President Rivlin for Traditional Photo-op

Israel's 36th government, comprised of eight parties, takes the reins after ousting Netanyahu

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Naftali Bennett's government with Israeli president Reuven Rivlin, today in Jerusalem
Naftali Bennett's government with Israeli president Reuven Rivlin, today in JerusalemCredit: Emil Salman

The ministers of the newly sworn-in Bennett-Lapid government met with President Reuven Rivlin Monday to take the traditional photograph of the prime minister and his new cabinet.

Throughout the day, the ministers will be assuming their new posts at their respective ministries.

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The government, helmed by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, was sworn in on Sunday night, after the Knesset held a confidence vote that ended with 60-59 in favor of the coalition.

At a handover ceremony for new Housing and Construction Minister Ze'ev Elkin, the previous minister, United Torah Judaism's Yaakov Litzman, said that Israel's housing crisis is especially hard on the Haredi population, but he does not think that this government will work towards solving it.

"Unfortunately, I don't expect that this government is for everyone," he said. "I personally welcome Elkin as a friend, but this government must be dismantled, and this we will do with all [our] might."  

Prior to the vote, Bennett attempted to deliver a speech in the Knesset, thanking former Prime Minister Netanyahu and stressing the importance of unity.

Israel faces great external challenges, he said, but "we are also facing an internal challenge. The ongoing rift in the nation, as we see in these very moments, which continues to rip apart the seams that hold us together, and has thrown us – one election after another – into a maelstrom of hatred and in-fighting."

He added, "Such quarrels, between the people who are supposed to be running the country, led to paralysis. One who quarrels, cannot function.

He was met by jeers by members of the new opposition; multiple Knesset members were removed from the parliamentary auditorium for their rowdiness.  

Upon being sworn in, Bennett became Israel's 13th prime minister, unseating Netanyahu after 12 consecutive years in office. 

The new coalition consists of eight parties – Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid, Naftali Bennett's Yamina, New Hope, Labor, Meretz, United Arab List, Kahol Lavan and Yisrael Beiteinu.

A rotation agreement has been agreed upon by Bennett and Lapid in which Bennett will serve as prime minister for two years with Lapid as foreign minister. Later, Lapid will assume the premiership for the following two years with Bennett as interior minister.

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