Photo Credit: Haim Zach / GPO
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at ceremony to mark 2021 Jerusalem Day at Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem.

The end of an era is upon the State of Israel: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – the longest serving prime minister in the history of the state – will leave office and the “Shinui” or “Change” bloc will be sworn into office as Israel’s new government, according to a Likud source who spoke Thursday night with The Jerusalem Post.

That means Yamina’s chairperson Naftali Bennett will be sworn in as Israel’s new prime minister, an event that has not taken place for the past 12 years.

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The decision to facilitate the transfer of government was made Thursday night.

Also Thursday, Yair Netanyahu, son of the incumbent prime minister, said in a tweet that Facebook temporarily blocked his account for a 24-hour period.

The suspension was implemented after the younger Netanyahu wrote a post advocating a demonstration next to the house of Yamina MK Nir Orbach, who has been wavering on his commitment to the new “change” coalition.

Regardless, the transfer of power from the prime minister to his successor is likely to take place next Wednesday, said the Likud source.

“We don’t want to deal with a challenge to the Supreme Court, receive bad press and look like sore losers,” the source said. “We fight the Supreme Court over more serious issues.”

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid will succeed Bennett and serve as prime minister in two years’ time under a coalition deal agreed to by both men.

Likud Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin is to be replaced by Yesh Atid MK Mickey Levy.

A formal request to begin the process of replacing Levin was submitted to Knesset Secretary Yardena Muller-Horowitz by the 61 Knesset members who are to comprise the new coalition.

Yamina chairperson and incoming prime minister Naftali Bennett told Israel’s Channel 12 News on Thursday that he will soon take office and “end the chaos and get the country back on track.”

Asked about what he will do if Ra’am party leader Mansour Abbas attempts to prevent Israel from going to war with Hamas or Hezbollah, Bennett said he will do what he must to maintain the nation’s security – even if it means going again to an election.

Bennett called Abbas a “courageous” leader and apologized for calling a “supporter of terror” in the past. The Ra’am party, and Abbas, are members of the Southern Islamic Movement, which was founded in 1971 along the general lines of the Muslim Brotherhood, which spawned the Hamas terrorist organization.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.