Israeli: Former PM Benjamin Netanyahu launches negotiations on govt formation

Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu launched negotiations today with his ultra-Orthodox and far-right allies on government formation in the country. This could be the most right-wing government in Israel’s history. Veteran hawk Netanyahu’s Likud party won 32 seats in Israel’s 120-seat parliament, the Knesset, according to the latest official results of the election released on Thursday night. That combined with 18 seats for two ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties and 14 seats for the rising extreme-right alliance called Religious Zionism gave the right-wing bloc supporting Mr Netanyahu 64 seats.

The centrist bloc of outgoing caretaker Prime Minister Yair Lapid won 51 seats, marking a definitive win for Netanyahu and an end to Israel’s unprecedented era of political deadlock, which forced five elections in less than four years.

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