Israel’s Netanyahu Says He Has Formed New Government

JERUSALEM (AP) — Designated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced late Wednesday that he has successfully formed a new coalition, setting the stage for him to return to power as head of the most right-wing Israeli government ever.

Netanyahu made the announcement in a phone call to President Isaac Herzog moments before a midnight deadline. His Likud Party released a brief video clip of the smiling Netanyahu and a recording of the conversation.

The move came after weeks of surprisingly difficult negotiations with his partners – who still have need to finalize their power-sharing deals with Netanyahu’s Likud Party.

Nonetheless, Netanyahu said he intends to complete the process “as soon as possible next week” A date for its swearing-in wasn’t immediately announced..

Even if he is successful, Netanyahu faces a difficult task ahead. He will preside over a coalition dominated by far-right and ultra-Orthodox partners pushing for dramatic changes that could alienate large swaths of the Israeli public, raise the risk of conflict with the Palestinians and put Israel on a collision course with some of its closest supporters, including the United States and the Jewish American community.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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