What just happened and what next?

The leader of the Israeli opposition came close to ousting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he told the head of state that he had done so They reached agreements with political allies to form a new government.

Here is a timeline of the events that led to the emerging alliance deal between centrist Yair Lapid and far-right Naftali Bennett, and what happens next.

March 23 – Israel holds the fourth inconclusive elections in two years. As in every previous vote, no party won a majority in the 120-seat parliament. Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party is emerging as the largest party.

Lapid’s centrist Yesh Atid party (there is a future) comes in second place. Bennett’s Yamina (Right) party won only six seats.

April 6 President Reuven Rivlin gives Benjamin Netanyahu 28 days to form a new government. He succeeded in co-opting smaller right-wing and religious parties, including Yamina, but failed.

May 5 – President Rivlin turns to Yair Lapid, who is trying to form a «government of change» from an unlikely coalition of right, center and left parties.

Such an alliance would be fragile and would require outside support from Arab members of Israel’s parliament, who oppose much of the right-wing agenda of some in the group.

May 10 – The outbreak of fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza and unrest erupted in many mixed cities between Jews and Arabs in Israel. Alliance talks collapse.

May 21 Declaration of a cease-fire. Alliance talks resume.

May 30 Naftali Bennett announces that he will join the centrist opponents to oust Benjamin Netanyahu.

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June 2 – The deadline for Yair Lapid to announce whether he had formed a majority coalition was midnight.

About 30 minutes before the deadline, Lapid told President Reuven Rivlin that he had succeeded in forming the government.

President Rivlin’s office issued a statement saying, «We expect the Knesset to meet as soon as possible to approve the government, as required.»

mid-June – The new government is expected to be sworn in.

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