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Israelis celebrate new government after vote confirms end of Netanyahu era


clock 2 min read

Revelers celebrate Israel's new government in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on June 13, 2021.
Tomer Neuberg/FLASH90Revelers celebrate Israel's new government in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on June 13, 2021.

Supporters of outgoing PM greeted Netanyahu as 'Bibi, King of Israel' in Jerusalem after 12 years in office

Thousands of Israelis gathered in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv to celebrate the swearing-in of Israel's new government Sunday night.

Revelers waved flags, cheered, fired foam cannons and shot open bottles of champagne following the narrow 60-59 vote that confirmed the new government, headed by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Alternate Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.

Several groups opposed to outgoing prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared, including the Black Flag protesters who coalesced in March 2020 after his coalition deal with Benny Gantz; who is resuming his role as defense minister in the new government.

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"Bibi go home," anti-Netanyahu demonstrators shouted, referring to Netanyahu by his nickname. Celebrations also sprouted in Jerusalem, although there they were offset by those showing support for Netanyahu 

Netanyahu said he would work to topple the new government in a speech ahead of the vote, while touting his achievements in his unprecedented 12 years in office.

As the leaders of the new government took the podium in Knesset, Israel's parliament, pro-Netanyahu and ultra-Orthodox lawmakers voiced their disdain.

"Shame," and "liar," they yelled, after which some had to be escorted out of the plenum.

Supporters greeted him at the official Prime Minister's Residence in Balfour street to express their adoration, cheering: "Bibi, King of Israel."