After Three Elections, Knesset Finally Votes in New Government

YERUSHALAYIM -
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (R) and alternate prime minister Benny Gantz at the Knesset, Sunday. (Adina Waldman, Knesset Spokeswoman)

The 35th government of Israel was officially voted into power on Sunday afternoon, ending nearly a year and a half of political deadlock and three inconclusive elections within the span of less than one year.

They voted 73 to 46 to form the new government, the first government sworn-in since 2015.

The new unity government, led by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz with Gantz rotating in as prime minister after eighteen months.

Likud MK Yariv Levin was appointed Knesset Speaker, with 71 MKs voting in favor.

Netanyahu was the first to be sworn in, renewing his tenure as prime minister.

Gantz was then sworn in as defense minister and alternate prime minister.

The other ministers in the new government are: Yisrael Katz (Likud), who will serve as Finance Minister; Gabi Ashkenazi (Blue and White), Foreign Minister; Avi Nissenkorn (Blue and White), Justice Minister; Yuli Edelstein (Likud), Health Minister; Amir Ohana (Likud), Public Security Minister; Rabbi Aryeh Deri (Shas), Interior Minister and Negev and Galilee Development; Chili Tropper (Blue and White), Culture Minister; Yoaz Hendel (Derech Eretz), Communications Minister; Miri Regev (Likud), Transportation Minister (expected to become foreign minister in 18 months); Yoav Gallant (Likud), Education Minister; Yuval Steinitz (Likud), Energy Minister; Yizhar Shai (Blue and White), Minister of Science and Technology; Orit Farkash-Hacohen (Blue and White), Strategic Affairs Minister; Assaf Zamir (Blue and White), Tourism Minister; Rabbi Yaakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism), Housing and Construction Minister; Amir Peretz (Labor), Economy and Industry Minister; Itzik Shmuli (Labor), Welfare, Work and Social Services Minister; Pnina Tamano-Shata (Blue and White), Immigration and Absorption Minister; Rabbi Yaakov Avitan (Shas), Religious Affairs Minister; Eli Cohen (Likud), Intelligence Minister; Omer Yankelevitch (Blue and White), Diaspora Minister; Alon Schuster (Blue and White), Agriculture Minister; Ze’ev Elkin (Likud), Higher Education Minister and Water Resources Minister (in 18 months, Elkin is expected to become transportation minister instead of Miri Regev, who will at that point become foreign minister); Gila Gamliel (Likud), Environmental Protection Minister; Rafi Peretz (Jewish Home), Yerushalayim Affairs and Heritage Minister; Orly Levy-Abekasis (Gesher), Minister for Strengthening and Advancing Community; Michael Biton (Blue and White), Minister in the Defense Ministry; Merav Cohen (Blue and White), Minister of Social Equality and Elderly Citizens; David Amsalem (Likud), Minister Responsible for Liaison between the Knesset and the Government; Ofir Akunis (Likud), Regional Cooperation Minister; Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) Minister for Settlement Affairs and Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud), Minister without portfolio.