Netanyahu’s 12-year reign ends as Israel swears in new PM

JERUSALEM The first Israeli government in 12 years not led by Mr Benjamin Netanyahu got down to business yesterday.

The right-wing leader's record run in office ended on Sunday with Parliament approving, by a razor-thin majority of 60-59, a new administration led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, a 49-year-old nationalist whose views mirror Mr Netanyahu's on many issues.

In Tel Aviv, thousands turned out to welcome the result, after four inconclusive elections in two years.

A combative Mr Netanyahu, 71, said he would be back sooner than expected.

"If we are destined to go into the opposition, we will do so with our heads held high until we can topple it," he told Parliament before Mr Bennett was sworn in. - REUTERS