Israel under Netanyahu: Key dates

Jerusalem: Here are key dates in the Israeli governments led by Benjamin Netanyahu since 2009.

– Return to power –

The right-wing Likud chief Netanyahu becomes prime minister for a second time in March 2009, after a first stint between 1996 and 1999.

He forms a coalition firmly anchored to the right, with the post of foreign minister going to ultra-nationalist Avigdor Lieberman.

MS Education Academy

In March 2013 Netanyahu’s new governing coalition takes office after snap January polls, with a strong showing of hardliners in favour of Israeli construction on Palestinian land seized during the 1967 Six-Day War.

– Gaza wars –

In July 2014 Israel launches a military operation against the Hamas-run Gaza Strip with the aim of ending rocket fire and destroying smuggling tunnels used by militant groups in the blockaded territory.

The war leaves 2,251 dead on the Palestinian side, mostly civilians, and 74 on the Israeli side, mostly soldiers.

– Most right-wing government –

In May 2015 Netanyahu wins a confidence vote in parliament for his fourth government.

A year later, he signs a coalition agreement with Lieberman’s Yisrael Beitenu party, naming him defence minister.

The government is the most right-wing in Israeli history.

In June 2017 Israel starts building its first new government-sanctioned settlement in the occupied territories since 1991 in defiance of international concern.

Settlement building takes on momentum under Netanyahu, with the support of his staunch US ally President Donald Trump.

– Deadly Gaza flare-up –

A mass protest is launched in Gaza in March 2018 to demand the right for Palestinians to return to homes in Israel that they fled or were expelled from after the creation of the Jewish state in 1948.

It sees a surge in violence on the border, where Palestinians gather every Friday.

From March 2018 to December 2019 at least 348 Palestinians are killed by Israeli fire, mostly along the border. Eight Israelis also perish.

A ceasefire is currently in force between Hamas and Israel.

– Political crisis –

On April 9, 2019 Likud wins 35 of the 120 seats in parliament, the same number as Netanyahu’s centrist challenger Benny Gantz at a general election.

On the 17 President Reuven Rivlin formally tasks Netanyahu with forming a government, but the prime minister is unable to form a majority coalition.

On May 29  parliament votes to dissolve itself and hold a new election.

In the September 17 elections Netanyahu and Gantz’s parties are again almost neck-and-neck.

Neither man can manage to form a coalition government and Rivlin therefore gives the task to parliament, which also fails, propelling the country into a third poll.

– Trump support –

On January 28, 2020, Trump, who has been an unfailing backer of Netanyahu’s Israel since taking power in January 2017, unveils a Middle East peace plan, which includes many concessions to Israel.

Under the plan Israel would be able to extend its sovereignty over Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and annexed east Jerusalem, while Jerusalem would remain its undivided capital.

– Corruption trial –

On February 18, the justice ministry says that the trial of Netanyahu, charged late in 2019 with fraud, breach of trust and bribery, will open on March 17.

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