What to know about Naftali Bennett, Israel’s new prime minister

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, addresses supporters in Jerusalem on March 24; opposition challenger Naftali Bennett addresses supporters in Tel Aviv the same day. (Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)

An earlier version of this article incorrectly asserted that Naftali Bennett would become head of state as prime minister. The prime minister is head of government; Israel’s president is head of state. The article also stated that military service is required of Jewish Israeli citizens. In fact, many ultra-Orthodox Jewish Israeli citizens, and others, can seek exemptions from such service. The article has been corrected.

After 15 years in office and a run of four deadlocked elections, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was unseated Sunday by a coalition of opposition parties, united by little beyond the desire to replace him.

Naftali Bennett, the country’s new prime minister, is set to hold office for two years before handing off to Yair Lapid, a centrist politician.

Though Bennett’s party trailed far behind both Netanyahu’s and Lapid’s in the last election, a rising push to oust Netanyahu in divergent quarters, amid political deadlock, allowed Bennett to emerge as a key power broker.

Here is what to know about Bennett, a technology millionaire turned far-right religious lawmaker who is a staunch supporter of Israeli settlements and an opponent of a Palestinian state.

After more than a decade, Israelis wake up to a government without Netanyahu