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Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (File Photo)
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (File Photo)

Israeli parliament moves forward bill to dissolve

ANI | Updated: Jun 22, 2022 21:55 IST

Tel Aviv [Israel], June 22 (ANI/Xinhua): Israeli lawmakers voted in favor of a bill to dissolve parliament in a preliminary vote on Wednesday, taking the first step in sending the country for its fifth elections in three years.
The vote, the first in a series of four votes before the formal dissolution of the parliament, gained an overwhelming majority of 110 lawmakers in the 120-member parliament.
The final vote is expected to take place next week.
The motion was presented two days after Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and his main partner Foreign Minister Yair Lapid announced they were disbanding their coalition government, which is made up of eight ideological diverse parties, only a year after its inauguration.
The coalition has been struggling for its political survival since it lost majority in the parliament in April.
The historic government, which ousted Israel's longest-serving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, included for the first time in Israel's history an Arab party, alongside right-wing and pro-settler parties and Dovish liberals.
Earlier, Israel's state-owned Kan TV news reported that the elections are expected to take place in October.
"Citizens of Israel, we stand before you today in a difficult moment, but with the understanding that we have made the right decision for the people of Israel," Bennett said in a joint statement alongside Lapid, which was broadcast live on the country's main TV channels.

Bennett noted that he and Lapid decided on the move in the wake of their failure to pass regulations that provides protections to Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank.
The regulations will expire at the end of June, but the opposition, mostly composed of pro-settler parties, voted against a government-sponsored bill to extend them in order to force the coalition to resign. Bennett, leader of the pro-settler party of Yamina, said he held a series of consultations with judicial and security officials on Friday that made him realize that the expiration of the regulation will create "horrible damages."
He said the coalition "left no stone unturned" in an attempt to raise enough votes to pass the bill in the parliament, but the efforts were "fruitless."
Bennett and Lapid have struggled to keep together the shaky coalition of eight parties since its establishment last year, but a series of defections left it without a majority in the parliament for more than two months.
Last week, 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 leave, the coalition was left with only 59 seats in the 120-seat parliament. Other lawmakers also threatened to rebel.
Bennett's coalition was inaugurated in June 2021, after a string of inconclusive elections. It is made of parties with diverse ideologies, including pro-settler nationalists and dovish parties, united only with the goal of ousting longtime leader Benjamin Netanyahu.
The move threw a political lifeline to Bennett's predecessor Netanyahu, who is now the leader of the opposition and facing a criminal trial over corruption charges.
The leader of the right-wing Likud party celebrated the fall of the government, saying on Monday in a video statement that he and his opposition colleagues "struggled for a year" to topple the government. (ANI/Xinhua)