The Knesset voted for the formation of Israel's 36th government headed by Yamina's Naftali Bennett, unseating Likud Party's Benjamin Netanyahu who served as prime minister for more than a decade.
The 60 Members of the Knesset (MK) approved the move, 59 MKs opposed and got one abstention from Ra'am MK Saeed Alharomi, The Jerusalem Post reported.
Eight parties supported the government, including Yesh Atid (17 seats), Blue and White (8 seats), Yisrael Beytenu (7 seats), Labor (7 seats), Yamina (6 seats), New Hope (6 seats), Meretz (6 seats) and Ra'am (3 seats).
Alharomi declared that he would support the new coalition. In return, he demanded the cancellation of the clause in the coalition agreement relative to illegal construction in the Negev.
Netanyahu and Interior Minister Arye Deri reportedly tried swaying Alharomi to vote against the government by giving him assurances, as well as on the issue of illegal construction in the Kaminitz Law.
Bennett and Netanyahu shook hands after the announcement of results. Bennett and Yesh Atid's Yair Lapid then proceeded to swear in as the country's 13th and 14th prime ministers, respectively. In the rotation agreement, Bennett will currently serve as the prime minister while Lapid as an alternate prime minister and foreign minister, until the handover on Aug. 27, 2023.
But Netanyahu declined to take Bennett's hand again after being sworn in when the latter passed by him. The former prime minister sat for a while in his chair as an opposition leader but walked out, Time said.
Addressing the parliament ahead of the vote, Bennett presented the ministers and guidelines of his new government but was heckled by the MKs of the would-be opposition. Religious Zionist Party leader Bezalel Smotrich and other MKs interrupted his speech by shouting, "Shame" while waving posters of terrorism victims. They were escorted out of the plenum.
He was also heckled by the MKs of Shas and United Torah Judaism parties, calling him a liar and cheater. But Bennett vowed to support the ultra-Orthodox sector by building a new haredi city.
"I am proud that I can sit in a government with people with very different views," he told his detractors.
The new prime minister expressed his gratitude to Netanyahu for his hard work on the state, as well as for the dedication of his wife, Sara.
In his speech, Bennett focused on domestic issues.
"We will forge forward on that which we agree, and there is much we agree on, transport, education and so on, and what separates us we will leave to the side," he said.
He also vowed for a "new page" in relations with the Arab sector in the country.
He added that he would never allow Iran to proceed with its nuclear plans, opposing America's proposal on reviving the deal.
"Israel will not allow Iran to arm itself with nuclear weapons. Israel will not be a party to the agreement and will continue to preserve full freedom of action," he said.
Nevertheless, he thanked the Biden Administration for its support during the recent war in Gaza and promised to continue supporting the United States.
Netanyahu also addressed the Knesset after Bennett's speech, declaring his return as the nation's leader.
"If it is destined for us to be in the opposition, we will do it with our backs straight until we topple this dangerous government and return to lead the country in our way," he stated.
According to CBN News, Netanyahu claimed that Bennett would not be able to stand up against America's pressure on a number of critical issues like he could.
Lapid cancelled his planned speech before the parliament, noting of the opposition's behavior towards Bennett. He said he was ashamed that his mother could witness such. In a brief speech, he asked for "forgiveness" from his mother.
"I wanted her to be proud of the democratic process in Israel. Instead she, along with every citizen of Israel, is ashamed of you and remembers clearly why it's time to replace you," Lapid added.
Netanyahu and Bennett both served in Sayeret Matkal, an elite commando unit of the Israel Defense Force that conducts top secret intelligence-gathering missions.
Bennett became Netanyahu's chief of staff in 2006 but left to lead a company in 2009, the year the latter began his 12-year career as prime minister. However, Bennett returned to politics in 2010 following America's pressure to freeze the construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank in late 2009. He was appointed as Yesha Council's director general, representing those settlements and leading the campaign against the freeze.
The former prime minister is the brother of Jonathan Netanyahu, the Sayeret Matkal commander and the only member of the rescue team who died during the Entebbe raid, the operation to free Israeli hostages in Uganda from the hijacked Air France flight in 1975.