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‘We’ll do the best we can,’ says incoming PM Lapid at handover ceremony with Bennett

Carrie Keller-Lynn is a political and legal correspondent for The Times of Israel

Outgoing Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (L) and his replacement, incoming premier Yair Lapid, along with their spouses, during a handover ceremony at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem. (Haim Zach/GPO)
Outgoing Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (L) and his replacement, incoming premier Yair Lapid, along with their spouses, during a handover ceremony at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem. (Haim Zach/GPO)

Outgoing Prime Minister Naftali Bennett holds a brief transition of power ceremony and handover briefing for incoming prime minister Yair Lapid.

Lapid, who will also continue in his current role of foreign minister, will take over the premiership at midnight, following the Knesset’s morning vote to disband itself.

“This special role, and this country, don’t belong to just one person. It belongs to all of the people of Israel,” says Bennett. “I’m passing you the sacred baton and the responsibility for the State of Israel. I hope you protect it and that God will protect you.”

Lapid tells Bennett that their brief ceremony is not a “goodbye party,” since “we’re not parting from you.”

“I’ve worked under prime ministers, I know prime ministers. You are a good person and excellent prime minister, and you are a good friend,” Lapid says to Bennett.

In a gesture of affection, Bennett blesses Lapid with a prayer customarily recited by parents over their children at the outset of Shabbat, and Lapid says his mother did the same shortly before the ceremony. “Even secular people [do it],” Lapid says with a smile.

Addressing the challenge of the prime ministership, Lapid says: “We’ll do the best we can for a Jewish, democratic state, good and strong and thriving, because that is the job, and it’s bigger than all of us.”

A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office says the handover process was “organized and thorough” and covered security and diplomatic matters, without elaborating on details.

The ceremony includes members of their respective staffs and families.

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