8 Israeli Parties Sign Coalition Deal ahead of Inauguration

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The coalition of eight parties that was due to form a new government in Israel had signed the coalition agreements, the partners announced on Friday.

This paved the way for the new government’s inauguration on Sunday.

The incoming government was a fragile coalition of eight parties from across the political spectrum, including one Arab party. The designated prime minister was Naftali Bennett of the pro-settler Yamina party.

“The signing of these agreements ends two and a half years of political crisis.

“The government will act as a union for all of the Israeli public religious, secular, ultra-Orthodox, Arab without exception,’’ said Bennett.

The coalition agreements address, among other things, public transport on Shabbat, financial support for the Arab part of the population, and illegal construction in the West Bank.

The partners also want to impose an eight-year term limit for prime ministers, according to the agreement.

The new government would oust long-time Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose supporters are exerting pressure to prevent the change.

The signing comes amid concerns that a fresh escalation of violence could be unleashed by a flag march planned by nationalist Israelis.

The march was to be held on Tuesday in Jerusalem, with the route passing through the Muslim quarter. Police on Friday confirmed that the route had been agreed upon.

The march had been planned for Thursday but was postponed for security reasons, as tensions run high ahead of the swearing-in of the new government after the completion of coalition negotiations.

The Palestinian Authority’s deputy governor of Jerusalem, Abdullah Siam, had earlier warned of an “explosion” in the city, according to media reports.

The march was originally due to be held on May 10, to mark Jerusalem Day but was broken off due to rocket attacks on the city by Gaza’s ruling Hamas, after tensions escalated in the region at the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Airstrikes and rocket attacks followed violent clashes over access to the Jerusalem holy site known as the Temple Mount to Jews and the Noble Sanctuary to Muslims. Palestinians were also angered by forced evictions in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

Israel captured the Arab-majority eastern part of Jerusalem in 1967.

Palestinians see it as their future capital, while Israel claims all of Jerusalem as its own capital.


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