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Netanyahu is preparing to form a government in his sixth term as Israeli prime minister

origin 1Netanyahu prepares to form a government in Israel ©MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP or licensors

Benjamin Netanyahu has announced that he has successfully formed a new coalition, setting the stage for his return to power as Prime Minister of Israel’s most right-wing government ever.

Netanyahu made the announcement in a phone call to President Isaac Herzog moments before the midnight deadline. His Likud party has released a short video of smiling Netanyahu and a recording of the conversation.

“I wanted to announce to you that thanks to the extraordinary public support we received in the elections, I was able to form a government that will take care of all citizens of Israel,” Netanyahu said.

The call came after weeks of difficult negotiations between his Likud party and its power-sharing partners. Netanyahu said he intends to complete this process “as soon as possible next week”. A date for his swearing-in wasn’t immediately announced.

Even if he succeeds, Netanyahu faces a difficult task. He will preside over a coalition dominated by far-right and ultra-Orthodox partners pushing for dramatic changes that could alienate large swathes of the Israeli public, raise the risk of conflict with Palestinians and put Israel on a collision course with some of its closest neighbors. supporters, including the United States and the American Jewish community.

Netanyahu is Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, serving a total of 15 years before being ousted last year. He claimed to be the victim of overzealous police, prosecutors and judges. But critics say the plans, including a planned proposal that would allow parliament to overturn Supreme Court decisions, will destroy the country’s democratic institutions and system of checks and balances.

The United States and the European Union have both said they will judge the new government by its policies, not its personalities.