Israeli political party leaders hoping to cobble together a coalition to oust incumbent Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu came to a historic eleventh-hour agreement on 2 June. Just minutes before his mandate was due to expire, Yesh Atid party leader, Yair Lapid, managed to get right-wing Naftali Bennett, leader of the Yamina party and Arab party Ra’am leader Mansour Abbas to agree to form an unlikely looking coalition and with them form a tenuous 61-seat majority at the 120-seat Knesset.

Mr Netanyahu was first mandated to form a government after his Likud party won 30 seats in the March elections, but he was unable to garner enough support to exceed the 61-seat majority threshold and so the mandate was passed to Mr Lapid, whose party won just 17 seats (MEES, 2 April). (CONTINUED - 881 WORDS)