Dr Mike Evans

Netanyahu to receive mandate to form government on Sunday

The Religious Zionism and United Torah Judaism parties recommended that Benjamin Netanyahu be given the mandate to form Israel’s next government, the groups announced on Thursday.

The move comes just one day after the parties in Netanyahu’s conservative block, including his own Likud Party, made the same recommendation.

President Isaac Herzog is expected to officially make the move on Sunday. The act will mark the beginning of a four-week period in which Netanyahu will have four weeks to earn the formal support from at least 61 Knesset members to pass a vote of confidence.

The uniting move comes after five elections in three years that led to a clear decision moving forward with Netanyahu’s comeback effort as prime minister. Netanyahu previously served from 1996-1999 and from 2009-2021, leaving office just 16 months ago.

After failed attempts to move forward with a majority, Naftali Bennett emerged as the leader of a unity coalition to lead the nation. Bennett’s controversial 2021 rise to power was short-lived, however. He resigned earlier this year, leaving caretaker Prime Minister Benny Gantz to lead the nation until the Nov. 1 election.

The hard-fought comeback effort resulted in a 64-seat bloc, more than enough to give Netanyahu a majority in the 120-seat Knesset.

Herzog was tasked with the meetings leading to the mandate. He met with leaders from the United Torah Judaism, Religious Zionism, Yisrael Beiteinu, Otzmah Yehudit, Noam and Ra’am on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Herzog met with delegations from Netanyahu’s Likud Party, Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid Party along with the National Unity and Shas parties.

Herzog will conclude the meetings on Friday with members of Hadash-Ta’al and the Labor Party, according to JNS.