(JERUSALEM) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday completed the formation of a new coalition government, reaching a last-minute deal with a nationalist party just before a midnight deadline.
The late-night deal saved Netanyahu from the unthinkable scenario of being forced from office. But it set the stage for the formation of a narrow coalition dominated by hard-line and religious parties that appears to be on a collision course with the U.S. and other allies.
With a slim majority of just 61 seats in the 120-seat parliament, Netanyahu could also struggle to press forward with a domestic agenda.
After Netanyahu’s Likud Party won March 17 elections with 30 seats, it seemed he would have a relatively easy time forming a coalition. But during a six-week negotiating process, the task turned out to be much more difficult than anticipated, as rival coalition partners and members of the Likud jockeyed for influential Cabinet ministries.