Bennett, Netanyahu’s former protege, poised to succeed him

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Naftali Bennett rose in Israeli politics as a protege of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Now he’s poised to be the premier’s successor. Under a deal with centrist Yair Lapid’s party, Bennett is to become prime minister leading a new government and ending Netanyahu’s 12-year rule. The 49-year-old father of four is the child of American immigrants and a former commando in an elite Israeli military unit. He’s a staunch advocate of Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land. He speaks American-accented English and lives in an upscale Tel Aviv suburb. If their deal wins a parliamentary vote of confidence, Bennett will serve as prime minister for two years, followed by Lapid.