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Israel’s Netanyahu back with extreme-right government

JERUSALEM: Benjamin Netanyahu will return to power in Israel on Thursday, leading what analysts say is the most right-wing government in the country’s history.

Senior security and law enforcement officials have already voiced concern over its direction, as have Palestinians.

“It becomes for Netanyahu’s partners a dream government,” Yohanan Plesner, president of the Israel Democracy Institute think-tank, said. “And one side’s dream is the other side’s nightmare,” he said, adding: “This government is expected to take the country in a completely new trajectory.”

Netanyahu, 73, who is fighting corruption allegations in court, already served as prime minister longer than anyone in Israeli history, including a record 12-year tenure from 2009 to 2021 and a three-year period in the late 90s.

He was ousted from power in the spring of 2021 by a motley coalition of leftists, centrists and Arab parties headed by Naftali Bennett and former TV news anchor Yair Lapid.

Netanyahu will present his new government to the Israeli parliament for a ratification vote at 11:00 a.m.

Following the election on November 1, Netanyahu entered into negotiations with ultra-Orthodox and extreme-right parties, among them Bezalel Smotrich’s Religious Zionism formation and Itamar Ben Gvir’s Jewish Power party.

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