JERUSALEM: Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday became Israel’s longest-serving Prime Minister, surpassing the record set by the country’s founding father, David Ben Gurion.
Netanyahu has led for 13 years and 127 days – one day more than Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister.
He has held this role for 4,873 of Israel’s 25,981 days of existence, which represents nearly 19 per cent of the country’s entire history, The Jerusalem Post reported.
He secured his fifth term earlier this year but has called fresh elections after failing to form a government.
Netanyahu is currently facing a series of possible corruon charges and calls for him to resign. He has denied any wrongdoing and alleges that the case is politically motivated.
He won his first election in 1996, becoming Israel’s youngest-ever prime minister at the age of 46. He is also the first leader born after the creation of the state in 1948.
As head of the right-wing Likud party, Netanyahu has a reputation as a hardliner on the Israel-Palestinian peace process, the BBC reported.
Although he carried out a partial withdrawal from the city of Hebron in the occupied West Bank in 1998 – handing most of it over to the Palestinian authority – he is a staunch opponent of the land-for-peace formula.
He has since declared there will be no more evacuations of Jewish settlers or settlements under his rule, nor the creation of a full-fledged Palestinian state.
While Netanyahu remains popular with his party base, he is a divisive figure in Israel, where critics see him as venal and even anti-democratic.
He faces a tough challenge from political opponents, including former Prime Minster Ehud Barak and a former military chief-of-staff, who are seeking to topple him in the elections on September 17.