As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tries to expand his coalition with former Kadima MKs, Monday marked his entry into the list of Israel's longest-serving prime ministers - tying Yitzhak Rabin, closing in on Yitzhak Shamir, but still far behind David Ben-Gurion.
Netanyahu assembled his first government on June 18, 1996. The 27th government lasted slightly more than three years, and Netanyahu finished his job on July 6, 1999. He lost the next election to Ehud Barak, and a decade passed before he returned to the Prime Minister's Office to establish the country's 32nd government, which he has headed for the past three years, three months, and 23 days. As of today, Netanyahu's total time as prime minister comprises six years and 130 days.
- Former PM Yitzhak Shamir dies at 96
The late Yitzhak Rabin served as prime minister from June 3, 1974 until June 20, 1977, until Likud head Menachem Begin won the election, making history. His second term as prime minister began on July 13 1992 and lasted until he was assassinated on November 4, 1995. Officially, Rabin's second government lasted until Shimon Peres established a coalition on November 22, more than two weeks after Rabin was slain.
Netanyahu and Shamir in 1991 (Archive photo: AFP)
If Netanyahu remains in office until the end of this year, he will also surpass Yitzhak Shamir, Israel's second-longest serving prime minister. Shamir replaced Begin after the latter resigned as prime minister and served from October 10, 1983 until September 13, 1984. He also replaced Peres as prime minister in the rotation agreement, serving from October 20, 1986 until July 13, 1992. Shamir served a total of six years and eight months as prime minister.
David Ben-Gurion and Moshe Sharett (David Eldan, GPO)
Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres in the Knesset (Natan Alpert, GPO)
Israel's longest-serving prime minister is still its first, David Ben-Gurion, who served from May 14, 1948 as the State of Israel was declared, until January 26, 1954, when he was succeeded by Moshe Sharett.
Ben-Gurion returned to the Prime Minister's Office on November 3, 1955 and continued to serve as prime minister until June 26, 1963 – making his total time in office more than 13 years.
Israel's shortest-serving prime minister is Barak, who held the position from June 6, 1999 until March 7, 2001 – a year, eight months, and one day.
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