The Parliament of Israel approves its dissolution and calls elections for November 1 | International
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The deputies of the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) voted this Thursday for the dissolution of the Chamber and the call for early elections for November 1, the fifth since 2019, in a new stage of political blockade in Israel. The parliamentarians of the government coalition, who have tried until the last minute to approve the latest laws of the legislature, and those of the opposition, who have resorted to delaying maneuvers, have fought tooth and nail until finally making harakiri unanimously with the vote of the 92 deputies present in a Chamber of 120 seats. The vote on the self-dissolution law took place before midnight on Thursday, to prevent the expiration of a key rule for the settlements in which nearly half a million Jews live in the occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank.
Twelve months after its formation, the government supported by the most diverse coalition in Israel’s history is preparing to exercise power only in office, pending the fall legislative elections. Its eight parties, ranging from the nationalist right to the pacifist left, through the center, Labor and, as a great novelty, a political force of the Arab minority, lost the absolute parliamentary majority in the House more than two months ago.
The outgoing Prime Minister, the nationalist Naftali Bennett, announced on Wednesday his withdrawal from politics after the failure of the so-called “Government of Change”, and in particular of his own party (Yamina, religious ultra-conservative), from which half have fled. of its deputies to the ranks of the opposition. The president will cede the leadership of the formation to his number two, the Minister of the Interior, Ayelet Shaked. In an intervention at parliamentary headquarters, Bennett assured that after his resignation he would continue “serving the country as a common soldier.” Before, he boasted that his coalition had carried out more legal projects than other governments in much longer time. “We have shown that people with different opinions can work together,” he said.
Bennett will not stand for the new elections, although he will remain in office in the Cabinet, as an “alternative prime minister”, although dedicated almost exclusively to supervising the progress of the new negotiation between Iran and the great powers for the reactivation of the agreement 2015 nuclear deal, which was suspended three years later by then-US President Donald Trump. After the dissolution of the Knesset, he will cede the helm of the Executive, with effect from midnight on Thursday, to Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, leader of the party with the most seats in the coalition, in accordance with the rotation agreements in office that both signed last year. In mid-July he will have to receive the visit to Israel of the president of the United States, Joe Biden, on his tour of the Middle East.
Conservative Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving leader, is now trying to rise at the polls from the ashes of the opposition and his corruption trial. He will have to challenge Lapid as a candidate, who will contest the elections for the first time since power, although subject to the limitations of an acting government. One of the main reasons for the delay in the dissolution vote in the Knesset has been the controversy over the date of the elections. While the religious right preferred October 25, to favor the vote of the ultra-Orthodox at the end of the Jewish autumn holidays, the outgoing coalition has imposed the secular day of November 1.
Voting intention polls confirm a tie between blocs, so uncertainty about governability will hover over Israel for at least six months until a new Executive is formed from the polls. Nearly a year into its formation, the broad coalition government earlier this month lost a key parliamentary vote on Jewish settlements in the West Bank. His attempt to extend the “provisional” legislation extending since 1967 Israeli civil rights to West Bank settlers failed in Parliament. Two deputies from the majority opposed it and another four were absent from the Chamber.
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The decomposition of the alliance forced Bennett to throw in the towel last week after verifying that he would not be able to ratify the legislation for the settlements before July 1, the date on which its validity expires. If the Knesset had not been dissolved, a decision that entails the automatic extension for six months of all regulations until the constitution of a new Cabinet, the Israelis in the settlements ran the risk of losing almost all their rights.
Despite the last-minute maneuvers by Netanyahu and his allies to form an alternative majority in the Chamber, through a motion of censure that would allow them to take control of the Government before the dissolution of Parliament, the calling of the fifth elections in little more than three years has been consummated after the dissolution vote.
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