Just an hour and a half before the clock was to run out at midnight Israel time, Binyamin Netanyahu was able to notify President Reuven Rivlin that he had succeeded in forming a government. The last minute deal, in doubt after Avigdor Lieberman balked at joining several days ago, is the narrowest possible majority, 61 seats in the 120-seat Knesset. It will be fragile and the member parties will be able to threaten to bring it down over any disagreement. It is arguably the most undiluted right-wing coalition yet, but also the weakest possible.
Likud won its victory by taking votes from its allied parties on the right, but they have had their revenge of sorts, by hard-bargaining for key portfolios, leaving Likud somewhat underrepresented in a Cabinet it leads. The exact details of the final deal with Naftali Bennett's HaBayit HaYehudi will not be finalized until next week.