Tamil Diplomat

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed an 11th-hour deal to form a new coalition government

The agreement, seven weeks after his Likud party won the election, came just before a deadline for the formation of an administration. Mr Netanyahu needed backing from the right-wing Bayit Yehudi party to give him the necessary 61 seats. Mr Netanyahu, who first became PM in 1996, is now on course for his fourth term in office.

“I’m sure no-one is surprised that these negotiations were lengthy,” Mr Netanyahu told a news conference. “Time is of the essence, not only because I’m leaving now to call the president and the chairman of the Knesset [parliament] to tell them that I’ve managed to form a government, but also because we’ll need to form it by next week in order to give a strong and stable government.”