Netanyahu’s most recent government begins its duties on Tuesday; 120 MK’s, 49 new sworn in during ceremony; PA refuses Israel tax returns.

Israel’s 21st Knesset (parliament government) was sworn in and began operating on Tuesday afternoon. Israel’s next, right-wing government was formed by Prime Minister Netanyahu who won the most seats and votes under his party, Likud.

The first session was held Tuesday where 49 new members of Knesset were sworn in for the first time. The new MK’s took part in an exhibit on the Knesset’s 70-year history before a reception and official ceremony. Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein opened the new government’s session, followed by words from Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin. Prime Minister Netanyahu is also expected to address the government later on Tuesday.

Earlier this month during Israel’s national elections, Netanyahu’s Likud won 36 mandates, forming a new, right-wing coalition government through April. The opposition, the left-centrist party under former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and MK Yair Lapid’s Blue and White party, won 35 seats, however, the majority of overall votes went to right-wing parties and to Likud. 

Prime Minister Netanyahu is expected to annex Israeli settlement blocs in the West Bank, a campaign promise he made. President Trump’s “Deal of the Century” is to be released sometime in June, the Palestinian Authority (PA) taking every effort to demote the deal through international pressure and alliances. Most recently, the PA has refused to take Israel’s tax returns, the PA nearing the verge of economic collapse. 

Photo: Roman Yanushevsky/