Biden Congratulates Lapid for Taking Over as Prime Minister

Yair Lapid meets with President Yitzchak Herzog, Thursday. (GPO)

Yair Lapid became Israel’s interim prime minister at midnight, after the Knesset voted Thursday to dissolve itself, triggering the country’s fifth election in just over three years.

Lapid will be replacing Naftali Bennett, as part of their power-sharing deal.

President Joe Biden congratulated Lapid on Twitter, saying he looked forward to seeing both Bennett and Lapid in Israel, and thanked Bennett for his “friendship over the past year.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken also offered his “warmest congratulations” to the new leader.

“Congratulations to Israel’s new Prime Minister Yair Lapid and thank you to outgoing Prime Minister Naftali Bennett for his leadership. The bond between the U.S. and Israel has never been stronger and I look forward to working together on shared bilateral and regional goals,” he wrote on Twitter.

At a handover ceremony with Bennett on Thursday afternoon, Lapid said, “We’ll do the best we can for a Jewish, democratic State, good and strong and thriving, because that is the job, and it’s bigger than all of us.”

Earlier, he visited the Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center, honoring his late father Yosef (Tommy) Lapid, a Holocaust survivor.

Lapid will head the caretaker government ahead of the elections, slated to take place on Nov. 1.

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