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Protesters in Israel are already celebrating Netanyahu's replacement

Protesters in Israel are already celebrating Netanyahu’s replacement

The Israeli parliament votes on a new government. We’re supposed to be Naftali Bennett
Be prime minister.

Ahead of the expected replacement of right-wing conservative Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, protesters celebrated in front of his official residence in Jerusalem. Critics of the outgoing prime minister cheered and danced. One banner on Saturday evening read: “Bibi (Netanyahu’s nickname), this is your last Saturday in Balfour, start packing.”

In front of the official residence on the corner of Balfour and Smolenskin Streets, protests were repeated against the Prime Minister, against whom a corruption operation was taking place. Prime Minister-designate Naftali Bennett of the far-right Yamina party criticized the latest rally on Sunday. “This is not the time for demonstrations and provocations,” his spokesman said. Bennett called for Netanyahu and his family to be treated with respect. The planned eight-party government must pass a vote of confidence in parliament as the last hurdle before being sworn in on Sunday. The majority in the Knesset is slim, with 61 members out of 120.

With the swearing in, an era will end in Israel: it will be the first time since 2009 that a government has been formed without Netanyahu. It remains unclear when the 71-year-old will leave his official seat if he is to be substituted. According to media reports, Bennett wants to stay with his family in his home in Ra’anana near Tel Aviv and use the official residence only for official meetings or in exceptional cases.