Israel PM Netanyahu Strikes Coalition Deal With Rivals

The Guardian writes:

Binyamin Netanyahu emerged from seven weeks of deadlocked negotiations with his political rivals on Thursday to announce a coalition deal just days before Barack Obama is due to fly into the country.

A new, slimmer Israeli government of 22 ministers will be sworn in on Monday with an agenda that places domestic, social issues ahead of the regional security concerns that dominated the previous coalition.

Under the long-wrought agreement Netanyahu will be prime minister, Yair Lapid, leader of the centrist Yesh Atid, will be finance minister and Neftali Bennett, head of a party linked to the West Bank settler movement, minister of trade and industry. Moshe Ya’alon of Netanyahu’s Likud party is to be minister of defence, replacing Ehud Barak.

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