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Israel bill on expanding cabinet passes first reading

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, on May 10, 2015Israel’s parliament on Monday passed the first reading of a bill which would effectively enlarge the cabinet, in the first test of strength for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new coalition. After the vote in the Knesset plenum, which was approved by 61 to 59, speaker Yuli Edelstein formally announced that Netanyahu had succeeded in forming a coalition government. “I am honoured to announce to the Knesset that according to Basic Law: The Government, the prime minister has managed to forming a government,” he said in remarks published on Ynet news website. Members of Netanyahu’s new government, which commands a razor-thin majority of just 61 of the Knesset’s 120 seats, were all present to vote in favour, as were all members of the opposition who have vowed to try and block the bill.

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