Israeli Knesset votes to dissolve, making snap election closer
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett attend a preliminary reading at the Israeli occupation parliament of a bill to dissolve the parliament.
"Israel" moved closer to its sixth election in less than four years on Wednesday, with lawmakers voting to dissolve parliament and former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ranked ahead in the campaign.
The Knesset voted unanimously to dissolve in a preliminary reading of a law anticipated to be approved next week, after which Foreign Minister Yair Lapid will lead an interim government in place of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
Lapid, who, along with Bennett, ended Netanyahu's record-breaking reign a year ago, which has since failed due to infighting, has characterized the approaching election as a war between moderates and Netanyahu-backed radicals.
Netanyahu, "Israel's" current opposition leader, was overjoyed by Bennett and Lapid's decision to dissolve what he has called the worst government in Israeli history, as he seeks to shatter his record and win a sixth term in office.
Four polls released on Tuesday showed Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party and its potential allies, nationalist and ultra-religious groups, dominating the polls but falling short of a governing majority in "Israel's" 120-seat Knesset.
Their opponents on the entire political spectrum have promised to prevent Netanyahu from returning to power, while he is on trial for corruption accusations, which he denies.
Coalition politicians are already drafting legislation that would make it illegal for someone who is under criminal investigation to lead a government, though it is unclear whether they have the votes.
"Netanyahu knows if 'Israel' remains a liberal democracy that he will not be able to cancel his trial," Lapid said at an economic conference in Occupied Al Quds.
"Our mission is to ensure these people don't take power and not to let them crush 'Israel's' democracy," Lapid said.
"Only a strong national government headed by Netanyahu will put "Israel" back on a right-wing course," Likud said in response to Lapid's remarks.
The specific election date, which will most likely be between late September and early November, will be determined next week.