(Tony Sifert, Headline USA) In an admission of epic failure likely to return Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party to power, Israel’s ruling coalition, led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, will dissolve the Israeli parliament and hold new elections, according to the Times of Israel.
Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid announced the collapse of their coalition during a press conference on Monday, June 20.
“We did our utmost to preserve this government,” Bennett said. “Believe me, no stone was left unturned—for the good of our beautiful country and for you, the citizens of Israel.”
According to the Times, the dissolution of the Knesset will result in the interim premiership of Yair Lapid, who is the chair of the leftist Yesh Atid party.
“If successful in the preliminary vote next week, for which only a simple Knesset majority is required, the bill to dissolve the Knesset will then need to pass three further Knesset votes with the support of at least 61 of the 120 MKs,” the Times reported.
Subsequent elections would take place in late October.
Netanyahu, who served as Israel’s prime minister from 2009 to 2021 greeted the announcement with a measure of relief.
“After a year’s determined struggle by the opposition in the Knesset and great suffering by the public in Israel, it is clear to everyone that the worst government in Israeli history has come to an end,” Netanyahu said.
“This government has ended its path—a government that depended on terror supporters, which abandoned the personal security of the citizens of Israel, that raised the cost of living to unheard-of heights, that imposed unnecessary taxes, that endangered our Jewish entity,” he continued.
Netanyahu is currently on trial for breach of trust, accepting bribes, and fraud, and is expected to remain on trial even if his party wins a parliamentary majority in October, according to the New York Times.
“Critics fear Mr. Netanyahu will use a return to office to pass laws that might obstruct the prosecution, an accusation that he has denied,” the New York Times reported.
But the Israeli people begged to differ. A recent poll showed that the bloc supporting Netanyahu’s Likud party was projected to win 60 seats—one short of the majority—which might better position it to form a coalition government.