With about 20 minutes to spare before the deadline to reach the agreement, Netanyahu informed Israeli President Isaac Herzog of the deal, which must now be ratified by the country’s parliament so that Netanyahu can be sworn into office by Jan. 2. This will be his sixth government and the country’s 37th.
“Thanks to the enormous public support we received in the last elections, I was able to establish a government that will work for the benefit of all Israeli citizens,” Netanyahu proclaimed on Twitter, according to a translation.
Negotiations had been fraught and spanned 38 days since the election in November, which was the fifth election in Israel since 2019 amid a power struggle. The far-right Otzma Yehudit party had been one of the holdouts and had been mired in talks about an hour before the deadline, the Times of Israel reported.
Alongside Otzma Yehudit, Netanyahu’s center-right Likud party also cut a coalition agreement with the Religious Zionism, Noam, Shas, and United Torah Judaism parties to eke out a 64-seat majority in the 120-seat Israeli legislature, the Knesset. The coalition is reportedly one of the most right-wing administrations in the country’s history.
Netanyahu had been pushed out of power last year by Naftali Bennett, the right-leaning Yamina party leader who cut a deal with the leader of the opposition, Yair Lapid, to form a rotational government. The development came as Netanyahu was embroiled in a corruption inquiry.
The recent election gave Netanyahu, the longest-serving prime minister in the country’s history, a chance to claw back to power, but he struggled as partners voiced skepticism about whether he’d make good on his promises. To ease concerns, Netanyahu will reportedly have to wrangle a number of controversial laws through the Knesset before his inauguration.
This includes the appointment of several coalition party members to the Cabinet and a policy that gives the national security minister power over the police. Those reforms are expected to pass next week, and Netanyahu is poised to be sworn in between Christmas and early January, per Axios.