Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 9 August 2020

Israeli parliament sworn in after Benjamin Netanyahu election win

The premier remains under a cloud of corruption investigations

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin (C-R) and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C-L) walk together at the former's residence in Jerusalem on April 17, 2019. AFP
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin (C-R) and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C-L) walk together at the former's residence in Jerusalem on April 17, 2019. AFP

Israel’s parliament was opened on Tuesday for the swearing in of the country’s new parliament after the election earlier this month that saw Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu survive a scar amid a raft of corruption.

Nearly 50 new parliamentarians entered into the chamber after the election, the highest number ever.

President Reuven Rivlin arrived at the parliament building where he led speaker Yuli Edelstein and 120 MPs to the first session of the new parliament.

A ceremony to swear in all of the parliamentarians then took place before the Israeli national anthem played, a song typically boycotted by Arab MPs that sit in the parliament.

Mr Netanyahu is set to form one of the most right-wing governments in Israel’s history. He will enter into a coalition with a party known as Jewish power, a group of Jewish supremacists who call for violence against Arabs.

The results for Mr Netanyahu, a victory over former Israeli military chief Benny Gantz, also came despite him being embroiled in three cases of corruption, accused of bribery, fraud and breach of trust. The country’s attorney general Avichai Mandelblit is set to indict him in all three cases after which he will have to face a hearing and attempt to stave off a fall from grace.

Mr Mandelblit has told Mr Netanyahu that a pre-indictment hearing must take place before June 10, rejecting a request for an extension to September.

In order to secure victory, Mr Netanyahu used fearmongering and bold promises to far-right settler factions.

Mr Netanyahu, in a campaign pledge just three days before polling day, vowed to begin annexing settlements in the occupied West Bank.

He had also warned that Mr Gantz’ party would align with Arab parties in order to defeat him, spreading fear that Arabs would sit in the ruling coalition. In the 2015 election, he told voters that Arabs were heading to the polls “in droves” and therefore must get out to the ballot box.

Updated: April 30, 2019 04:44 PM

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