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Thousands in Israel’s Tel Aviv celebrate end of Netanyahu government

Published: Updated:

Delighted revelers poured into the center of Israel's coastal city of Tel Aviv Sunday to celebrate the end of Benjamin Netanyahu's 12-year streak in power.

As the parliament swore in the coalition of ideological rivals promising "change," throngs of people gathered clapping, cheering and waving flags.

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People celebrate after Israel's parliament voted in a new coalition government, ending Benjamin Netanyahu's 12-year hold on power, at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, Israel. (Reuters)
People celebrate after Israel's parliament voted in a new coalition government, ending Benjamin Netanyahu's 12-year hold on power, at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, Israel. (Reuters)

Netanyahu’s 12-year run as Israel’s prime minister ended on Sunday with parliament approving a new “government of change” led by nationalist Naftali Bennett.

Heading into opposition, Netanyahu, 71, the most dominant Israeli politician of his generation, pledged he would soon return to power.

In a raucous session in which Netanyahu’s right-wing and ultra-Orthodox supporters shouted “shame” and “liar” at Bennett, parliament voted confidence in his new administration by a razor thin 60-59 majority.

A former defense minister and a high-tech millionaire, Bennett, 49, was due to be sworn in shortly after the vote.

His alliance includes for the first time in Israel’s history a party that represents its 21% Arab minority.