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Netanyahu have to deal with right-wing firebrands when he returns to power in Israel

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, will need all of his experience as he returns to lead one of the country’s most right-wing governments, facing division at home and unmistakable alarm abroad.

 

Netanyahu, 73, was sworn in as prime minister for the second time on Thursday, vowing to govern for all Israelis and build on the Abraham Accords with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, which paved the way for possible normalisation of relations with other Arab countries.

 

However, more attention has been drawn to his alliance with Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, two ultranationalist hardliners who have already demonstrated their determination to impose their agenda during weeks of tense coalition talks.

 

Ben-Gvir, who was recently filmed brandishing a pistol at Palestinians in East Jerusalem, will be in charge of police forces, while Smotrich’s Religious Zionism party will have unprecedented control over Israeli settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank.

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