Benjamin Netanyahu was on Thursday, December 29, sworn in as Israel’s prime minister, after over a year in opposition.
Netanyahu secured a comeback in the latest election, the nation’s fifth in less than four years, to extend his record-setting tenure as prime minister.
73-year-old Netanyahu who is now prime minister of the most right-wing and religiously conservative government in the country´s history, took the oath of office moments after Israel’s parliament, or Knesset, passed a vote of confidence in his new government.
The coalition, made up of Jewish ultranationalist and religious parties, has already prompted an unprecedented uproar from Israeli society, including the country´s defense establishment, businesses, LGBTQ community, secular Jews and others.
The new government has promised to curb the power of the country’s independent judiciary and expand illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank that will deepen the conflict with the Palestinians.
Netanyahu is the country’s longest serving prime minister, having held office from 2009 until 2021 and a stint in the 1990s. He was ousted from office last year after four deadlocked elections by a coalition of eight parties solely united in their opposition to his rule while on trial for corruption.
He will however remain on trial for charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust, and was ousted from office last year by parties united in opposition to his rule. He has always maintained his innocence.