This content was published on Jun 11, 2021 – 17:43.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The new Israeli government is set to end Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year tenure as prime minister by signing final coalition agreements on Friday that explicitly set term limits.
The coalition of far-right and left-wing parties is expected to focus primarily on economic and social issues rather than risk exposing internal divisions in an attempt to resolve important diplomatic issues such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
On Sunday, Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-running leader, will be replaced by a coalition that will include Israel’s Arab minority party for the first time.
Under the power-sharing agreement, Naftali Bennett of the ultra-nationalist Yamina party (right) will serve as prime minister for two years.
Bennett said on Friday that the coalition “will end two and a half years of political crisis,” although it was unclear how long the scattered elements of the coalition would hold out together. Then he will hand over to Yair Lapid of the centrist Yesh Atid (There is a Future) party.
Among the agreements mapped out by the parties in what Lapid called “unity government” are the following: • Limiting the term of office of the prime minister to two terms, or eight years.
* Infrastructure development including new hospitals, a new university and a new airport.
* Adoption of a biennial budget to stabilize the country’s finances – A prolonged political stalemate has resulted in Israel still using a proportional version of the core budget for 2019, which was ratified in mid-2018.
• Maintaining the “status quo” on matters of religion and state, with Bennett’s Yamina party having veto power. Possible reforms include removing the ultra-Orthodox monopoly on overseeing which foods are kosher and decentralizing power over Jewish conversions.
* “General Transportation Plan” in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
* The overall goal is to “safeguard the interests of Israel” in the West Bank areas under complete Israeli control. * Allocate over 53 billion shekels ($ 16 billion) to improve infrastructure and livelihoods in Arab cities and stop violent crime there.
* Decriminalization of marijuana and the transition to market regulation.
(1 US dollar = 3.2529 shekels)
(Reporting by Ari Rabinovich; editing by Nick McPhee)