The Israeli government has collapsed, sparking new elections and the possibility that Benjamin Netanyahu will return to power.
After weeks of speculation, incumbent Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced that the government will submit a bill to dissolve the Knesset next week, thereby ending Israel’s 36th government, if it passes.
Mr Bennett’s coalition partner, current Foreign Secretary Yair Lapid, will assume the role of acting Prime Minister for a minimum of 90 days.
Including religious holidays, elections are likely to be held in October, the fifth in three years.
The current coalition, less than a year old, has stood firm for weeks after losing its Knesset majority following defection.
It takes power in June 2021, Ending Netanyahu’s 12 years in power.
It has slowly lost power and a vote of no confidence, drawn up by opposition parties, is expected this week, prompting Mr Bennett and Mr Lapid to jump jobs before they are pushed forward. .
Mr Lapid, as Prime Minister, will now welcome US President Joe Biden to Israel when he visits next month.
Mr. Netanyahuwho was twice Israel’s prime minister, was recently embroiled in a trial defending corruption allegations but remains a powerful Israeli figure in politics.
Although Israel remains bitterly divided politically, Mr. Netanyahu is still popular with a section of the population, but he has struggled in recent elections to form a decisive coalition.
He spent much of the year opposing, actively undermining the coalition government and encouraging opposition parties to vote against government bills, culminating in the bill’s failure earlier in the day. month, restoring some rights to Israeli settlers in the West Bank.
Voting against renewing that law ran counter to Mr Netanyahu’s politics and was seen as a blatant opportunist – it also alienated some of his supporters.
However, the Bibi factor will almost certainly dominate the election campaign, and what he says and does will largely determine the course of the coming months as Israel prepares to vote again.