Israel headed for new election as parliament to disband

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (right) speaks with Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (left) during a cabinet meeting at the Prime minister’s office in Jerusalem, on June 19, 2022. (Abir Sultan/Pool/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)

Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, will disband next week after efforts to stabilize the governing coalition failed, according to a spokesperson for the prime minister.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid will become caretaker premier, replacing Naftali Bennett, until a new government is formed after the next elections, as laid out in the terms of the coalition agreement.

Israel’s fifth election in 3.5 years could be held as early as Oct. 25, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Lapid “will become Prime Minister until a new government is formed,” Hillel Fertouk, a member of Meretz, one of the parties in the coalition government, confirmed separately.

Bennett and Lapid are due to address the public at 8 p.m. local time, the spokesperson said.

Israeli Government Now in Minority as Arab Member Resigns

Bennett’s administration cobbled together secular and religious factions, hawks and doves, free marketeers and social democrats, as well as an Arab party for the first time in Israeli history.

The coalition has been without a majority since April, following the resignation of Idit Silman, a member of Bennett’s own party.

Shaky since its inception in June last year, the coalition was formed primarily around a desire to unseat then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after four inconclusive elections in a two-year period, and was dependent on the willingness of its members to compromise to survive.

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