Israel’s Labour party has narrowly voted to join a coalition government led by Benjamin Netanyahu of the right-wing Likud.
Labour leader Ehud Barak cut a deal with Netanyahu in which he keeps his job as defence minister. The new government is a mix of strange bedfellows with the centre-left Labour party joining forces with the far-right Yisrael Beiteinu and ultra-Orthodox Jewish party, Shas. Many believe that Labour’s inclusion will give the new government a more acceptable face on the international stage. Speaking in Washington, US President Barack Obama said the new government will make a peace deal with the Palestinians more difficult, adding that the “status quo is unsustainable.”