Who Is Expected to Succeed Benjamin Netanyahu as Israel’s Prime Minister?

What to know about Naftali Bennett, Yair Lapid and the new coalition

President Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have been working together for decades, but their friendship faces new trials amid the Israel-Hamas truce. WSJ's Gerald F. Seib takes a look at key moments from the last 15 years of their relationship, and what might come next. Photo illustration: Todd Johnson

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rivals agreed to form a coalition government that would dislodge the country’s longest-serving leader with Naftali Bennett as his successor, a political shake-up that comes amid security and economic crises.

Wednesday’s agreement is fragile and could still fall apart if some rightwing lawmakers are persuaded not to back the government when it comes up for a vote in parliament in the next 12 days.

A cease-fire with Palestinian militant group Hamas remains fragile after 11 days of deadly fighting, the worst since the last of three wars in 2014.

The new government will have to take steps to boost economic growth while keeping a check on the coronavirus pandemic. Israel is opening up again, after several lockdowns last year and one of the world’s fastest Covid-19 inoculation campaigns.

The Biden administration is likely to see opportunity in a new leader amid lingering strains between Israel and many senior U.S. officials dating back to Mr. Netanyahu’s 2015 public campaign against the Iran nuclear deal. But the new government is also opposed to the Iran deal and isn’t expected to attempt any efforts toward resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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