Israel’s coalition government is set to be dissolved next week as the country leads a new round of elections amid indications that former Prime Minister Netanyahu is poised for a return to power, the Jerusalem Post reported Monday.
After months of attempts to organize a coalition government, often ideologically contradictory, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Deputy Prime Minister Yair Lapid agreed to hold a vote to dissolve Israel’s parliamentary body, the Knesset. Sources close to Bennett told the Jerusalem Post that the two hoped it itself would prevent the end of the coalition from allowing opposition leader Netanyahu to be the first to retake the Knesset.
“Efforts to stabilize the coalition were exhausted,” Bennett said in a statement.
According to the Jerusalem Post, Lapid will serve as provisional prime minister until elections are held, likely in October.
Bennett explained that failing to renew the settlement law in the West Bank marked the end of the coalition government, the Jerusalem Post reported. Coalition member Nir Orbach announced on June 13 that he would leave the coalition if the legislation fails, and later threatened to vote with the opposition to trigger elections, Axios said.
The settlement law extended Israel’s jurisdiction over Israeli citizens living in the West Bank and Gaza. According to the Jewish News Service, successive Knessets had passed the bill every five years since it was first introduced in 1967.
Bennett’s own coalition government ousted Netanyahu in 2021 after serving as prime minister for 12 years, making him opposition leader. Ahead of the last election to suit him, the fourth in two years, Netanyahu vowed to return to power.
While Netanyahu has no guaranteed shot at the premiership, he is certainly the “most likely candidate,” Shoshana Bryen, senior director of the Jewish Policy Center, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Netanyahu previously accused the Bennett coalition, made up of eight parties across the political spectrum, of weakness in handling the Iran and Palestinian conflicts. (RELATED: Netanyahu publicly rejects US bid to re-enter Iran nuclear deal in front of Blinken)
The Israeli government may have an uphill battle to regain the people’s trust, no matter who sits as prime minister.
“It is exhausting to hold elections. There is a feeling in Israel that if: [the Knesset] If we let the coalition collapse and go to elections, there would be a punishment from the people,” Bryen told TheDCNF.
“The people said to them, ‘We didn’t want that; we wanted you to really reign,” Bryen added.
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