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Israel’s Knesset Dissolved, Elections To Be Held For The 5th Time In 3 Years

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After it was weakened considerably, Israel’s ruling coalition government has dissolved. parliament and call a new election. The elections will be Israel’s 5th in three years.

Expected soon, the elections could usher in the return of former PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s religious, nationalist government. Netanyahu, whose capability to rule was the focus in the past four elections while he was on trial for corruption charges, said that the decision was “great news for millions of Israeli citizens”.

Calling it the “the right decision for Israel” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said it wasn’t easy to disband the government in a nationally televised press conference. The fragile coalition government lost its majority earlier this year, and has faced rebellions from different lawmakers in recent weeks. The ruling coalition includes parties from across political lines.

Israel’s foreign minister Yair Lapid has taken over the caretaker government under a power-sharing deal with outgoing PM Bennet who has promised an orderly transition. Lapid congratulated and thanked Bennett for putting Israel ahead of his personal interests. “Even if we’re going to elections in a few months, our challenges as a state cannot wait,” Lapid insisted.

According to the BBC, “The coalition had been teetering for weeks. Last week, Yamina MK Nir Orbach resigned from it, saying the government had failed in its main mission “of lifting (Israelis’) spirits” – a move which left it with only 59 seats. Others had also threatened to rebel.”

The immediate cause for Bennett’s decision was the impending expiration of laws that grant West Bank settlers’ special legal status. Had the laws expired, settlers would be subject to many of the military laws that apply to 2 million Palestinians in the area.

By dissolving Knesset, the laws remain in place. Former settler leader Bennett said that there would have been “grave security perils and constitutional chaos” had he allowed the laws to expire. “I couldn’t let that happen,” he said.

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