- Title: Israel's new gov't: Arab-Israelis welcome change, Palestinians sceptical
- Date: 13th June 2021
- Summary: RAMALLAH, WEST BANK (JUNE 13, 2021) (REUTERS) PHOTO OF DOME OF THE ROCK
- Embargoed: 27th June 2021 18:13
- Keywords: Arabs Gaza Hamas Israel Palestinians West Bank government
- Location: GAZA CITY, GAZA / RAMALLAH, WEST BANK / ABU GHOSH, ISRAEL / JERUSALEM
- City: GAZA CITY, GAZA / RAMALLAH, WEST BANK / ABU GHOSH, ISRAEL / JERUSALEM
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Middle East,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA003EH8H5XJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Palestinians on Sunday (June 13) were sceptical as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's 12-year hold on power was set to end, when Israel's parliament votes on a new government of improbable allies in a nation bitterly divided over his departure.
But Israeli-Arabs seemed to welcome the expected change.
Netanyahu, the most dominant Israeli politician of his generation, had failed to form a government after a March 23 election, the fourth in two years.
Bennett, a hawkish hi-tech millionaire, is set to head a new administration that includes left-wing, centrist and Arab legislators, which he cobbled together with opposition leader Yair Lapid. It will likely be fragile, with a razor-thin majority.
Parliament convened at 4 p.m. (1300 GMT) to approve the government in a confidence vote that will follow speeches and a debate that could take about four hours. After its ratification, the new cabinet will be sworn in.
Bennett, a 49-year-old Orthodox Jew, will serve as premier for two years before Lapid, 57, a former TV host, takes over.
His government, including for the first time a party that represents Israel's 21% Arab minority, plans largely to avoid sweeping moves on hot-button international issues such as policy toward the Palestinians, and to focus on domestic reforms.
Bennett said his government would promote economic steps toward the Palestinians but any violence by Palestinians would be met by a strong response.
With little to no prospect of progress toward resolving the decades-long conflict with Israel, many Palestinians will be unmoved by the change of administration, predicting that Bennett will pursue the same right-wing agenda as Netanyahu.
(Production: Adel Abu Nemeh, Senan Abu Mayzer, Mustafa Abu Ganeyeh)
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