Israel’s fragile coalition government will vote next week to disband its parliament, the Prime Minister’s Office announced Monday. This would send Israel to the fifth elections within three years.
The office stated in a statement that Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Alternate Prime Minster Yair Lapid have decided to present a bill to dissolve parliament on Monday.
The office stated that Lapid, the leader of Yesh Atid’s centrist party, will be rotating with Bennett as interim prime minister until the next government is formed, once the bill has been approved by parliament.
According to Israel’s Kan TV news channel, the elections are likely to be held in October.
“Citizens in Israel, we stand before your today in a difficult time, but with the understanding we have made the right choice for the peoples of Israel,” Bennett stated in a joint statement with Lapid. The broadcast was live on Israel’s main TV channels.
Bennett said that Lapid and Bennett made the decision to make the move following their failure to pass regulations providing protections for Jewish settlers living in the occupied West Bank.
Although the regulations will expire by June 30, the opposition, which consists mainly of pro-settler parties voted against a bill sponsored by the government to extend them to force the coalition into resign.
Bennett, who is the leader of Yamina’s prosettler party, said that he met with security and judicial personnel on Friday to realize that the regulation would be void.
He claimed that the coalition had made every effort to obtain enough votes to pass legislation in parliament. But, these efforts proved futile.
Bennett and Lapid have had a difficult time keeping the coalition of eight party parties together since its creation last year. But, after a series of departures, it was without a majority in parliament for more that two months.
Last week, Nir Orbach of Bennett’s Yamina Party, a lawmaker, announced that he was leaving the coalition, saying it had failed to lift Israelis’ spirits.
The coalition was left with 59 seats in the 120 seat parliament after he resigned. Others threatened to rebel.
After several inconclusive election results, Bennett’s coalition became official in June 2021. It is composed of pro-settler nationalists as well as dovish parties. They are united by the common goal to remove longtime leader Benjamin Netanyahu.
Bennett’s predecessor Netanyahu was saved by the move, and Bennett is now facing a criminal prosecution for corruption.
The leader of right-wing Likud party celebrated Monday’s fall of the government. He said in a video that he had “struggled for a whole year” with his opposition colleagues to bring down the government.
He vowed that he and his friends would establish a new government “that will restore the national pride the people of Israel.”