Israel's new government seeks to expand territory

STORY: A hard-right Israeli government was sworn in on Thursday (December 29),

Cementing Benjamin Netanyahu's comeback as premier.

The government aims to expand Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank

And pursue other policies that have stoked criticism at home and abroad.

Since his bloc secured a parliamentary majority in a November election...

Netanyahu, who is currently on trial for graft charges, has pledged to promote tolerance and pursue peace.

But his allies include the Religious Zionism and Jewish Power parties, which oppose Palestinian statehood.

Its leaders have previously agitated against Israel's justice system, its Arab minority and LGBT rights.

Opponents heckled Netanyahu and some chanted "Weak! Weak!."

He listed his top priorities, including thwarting Iran's nuclear programme; another:

"The third mission, to continue expanding the circle of peace with Arab states in order to end the Israeli-Arab conflict."

For Palestinians, Netanyahu's line-up has darkened an already bleak outlook.

After a year in which violence has surged across the West Bank,

Jewish settlements are now set to expand over land on which Palestinians hoped to build a future state.

This is territory over which Netanyahu's party said “the Jewish people have an exclusive and unassailable right".

Most world powers deem building settlements on land captured in war illegal.