Naftali Bennett sworn in as Israel's new Prime Minister, Netanyahu oustedtext_fields
Tel Aviv: Naftali Bennett, leader of the right-wing Yamina (United Right) party, was sworn in as Israel's new Prime Minister, ousting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from power after an uninterrupted 12 years helm of affairs.
This seismic shift in the country's turbulent politics came after the new coalition government, headed by Bennett and Yair Lapid, leader of the centrist Yesh Atid (Future) party, approved by the parliament Knesset, in a vote of confidence, Xinhua news agency reported.
The eight parties, including a small Arab faction that is making history by sitting in the ruling coalition, are united in their opposition to Netanyahu and new elections but agree on little else.
60 lawmakers of the 120-member chamber voted in favour of the new government while 59 voted against it in the vote of confidence held in the parliament earlier.
Israel's parliament on Sunday night also elected Mickey Levy, a lawmaker with Yesh Atid, as its new speaker.
TV footages of the parliament session showed Bennett and Lapid taking their new seats at the coalition seats in the parliament, while Netanyahu, Israel's longest-serving leader, moved to the back seats of the opposition.
At the same time, the 27 new ministers of the new governing coalition were also sworn in.
Bennett and Lapid will rotate as the prime minister on a two-year base, with Bennett going first. Lapid will serve as Israel's alternate prime minister and foreign minister.
Thousands of Israelis gathered on Rabin Square in central Tel Aviv on Sunday night to celebrate the end of Netanyahu's rule.
The forming of the new coalition government has ended a political crisis in Israeli, that has seen four elections in two years.
Netanyahu, who is battling corruption charges in an ongoing trial he dismisses as a conspiracy, has been the dominant Israeli politician of his generation, having also served a previous three-year term in the 1990s.
Being ousted from the top job will leave Netanyahu more exposed to his legal woes because it denies him the chance to push through parliament changes to basic laws that could give him immunity.