Tel Aviv: Naftali Bennett held what was likely his final cabinet meeting as the Prime Minister of Israel, ahead of the Knesset or Parliament’s expected dissolution this week following the collapse of the country’s fragile coalition government.
“Soon unfortunately, Israel will head toward elections,” Bennett told the Ministers in televised remarks late Sunday, referring to a vote on Monday or Wednesday in which Parliament will almost certainly vote to dissolve itself.
Bennett and his main coalition partner Yair Lapid Decided to dissolve parliament after their shaky coalition lost its majority two months ago.
Once Parliament approves the bill, Lapid, leader of the centrist party of Yesh Atid, will rotate with Bennett and serve as interim Prime Minister until the next government is established.
The country is likely to hold the general elections, the fifth in just three years, in October.
In his address on Sunday, Bennett, leader of the pro-settler Yamina party, specified a series of accomplishments achieved by his year-long governing coalition, which is made up of eight ideological diverse parties, including Dovish liberals, centrists, Hawkish right-wingers and an Arab party that had made history by joining for the first time a ruling coalition in Israel.
“This was an excellent government, which depended on a complex coalition. There is a group of people who knew how to put aside ideological differences, rise above and act for the State of Israel,” he said.
Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is now the opposition leader, has been holding talks on establishing a new coalition government within the current Parliament without dissolving it, according to reports by state-owned Kan TV news and other local media.
But Netanyahu and his right-wing Likud party are reportedly far from recruiting enough lawmakers for the move, meaning the bill to dissolve Parliament is expected to be approved by the 120-seat legislative body.
Bennett and Lapid have struggled to keep together the shaky coalition of eight parties since its establishment in June 2021, but a series of defections left it without a majority in the parliament for more than two months.
Earlier this month, Nir Orbach, a lawmaker with Bennett’s Yamina party, announced he was resigning from the coalition because it had failed in “lifting Israelis’ spirits”.
After his exit, the coalition was left with only 59 seats in the 120-seat Knesset.
(Except for the headline, the story has not been edited by Siasat staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)