TEL AVIV — Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu overcame the odds to form a new government with just minutes to spare, but analysts predict his hard-line coalition will be hampered by internal divisions and at loggerheads with much of the world.
The new government — made up of with right-wing and religious parties and unveiled late Wednesday — will rule by only the slimmest of majorities: 61 of 120 members in Israel's turbulent parliament, the Knesset.
Keeping discipline among the coalition's different members will be a challenge, if not downright impossible, according to political analyst Shimon Shiffer, who said he did not expect the government to last more than two years.
"It is almost impossible to lead this kind of narrow-based government and I’m sure Netanyahu will try very soon to try and find a new partner," he told NBC News.
The new government also will be coming to power in wake of numerous spats set up by Netanyahu. During the campaign, Netanyahu angered the White House and other key allies by saying he would not allow the establishment of a Palestinian state on his watch. He also has clashed with President Barack Obama's over whether to sign a nuclear deal being negotiated with Iran.
"An overtly right-wing government, such as the one that is going to be sworn in next week, will have to fight nearly the entire world diplomatically," senior political commentator Eitan Haber wrote in Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper. "And quite possibly [it] will also have to fight militarily against Hamas in the south, Hezbollah in the north and various Islamic terrorist groups that might try to disrupt peace on the Golan Heights."
When Netanyahu's Likud Party won March 17 elections with 30 seats, it was widely expected that forming a coalition would be straightforward. However, negotiations dragged out amid frenzied jockeying for position among rival coalition partners.
Talks took an unexpected turn on Monday, when foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, whose once-strong relationship with the Israeli leader turned sour long ago, took his far-right Yisrael Beitenu party out of the coalition talks, leaving the foreign ministry up for grabs.
Netanyahu signed the final deal with the Jewish Home party to clinch his new government.
"I'm sure no one is surprised that the negotiations took such a long time with all the different parties but no one is also surprised that the negotiations are completed," Netanyahu said at a press conference sitting alongside the head of Jewish Home, Naftali Bennett. Netanyahu’s Likud will also rule with Jewish parties United Torah Judaism and Shas, and nationalist Kulanu party, whose leader, Moshe Kahlon, will become finance minister.
There is wide spread speculation that Netanyahu will try to lure the Zionist Party headed by Isaac Herzog by on side by giving him a role in the foreign ministry.
Herzog, however, dismissed the coalition, saying that it was "a national failure government" in a tweet. It was "an embarrassing farce" and "the narrowest in Israel's history," he added.
— F. Brinley Bruton and The Associated Press contributed to this report.