From JPost: Israel will head to its fifth election in three-and-a-half years, after Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid gave up Monday on their efforts to stabilize the coalition. 

In a joint statement, Bennett and Lapid said that that they will bring a bill to dissolve the Knesset to a vote next Monday. This means that elections will likely be held in October.

Sources close to Bennett said the duo’s goal was to initiate an election on their own terms and not be forced out by opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu.

According to the coalition agreement, Lapid will become caretaker prime minister until the election and until the new government comes into power. 

“Once approved, the rotation will be performed in an orderly manner. Prime Minister Bennett is now talking to party leaders,” the statement read.

There is still a chance that Netanyahu will succeed in forming an alternate government within the current Knesset. This would happen if members of the coalition – from New Hope and Yamina – switch sides and join Netanyahu’s right-wing bloc. 

Rebellion and no-confidence votes

The coalition has been wavering for weeks as MK Nir Orbach (Yamina) decided to leave the coalition over its inability to pass the Judea and Samaria emergency bill, which is composed of temporary injunctions applying Israeli law to Jews in the West Bank.

Orbach announced earlier on Monday that he would not vote in favor of disbanding the Knesset this week.

Earlier today, Bennett’s government defeated two votes of no confidence in the Knesset on Monday afternoon by a vote of 57-52, despite rebellions in the coalition.

Members of the Joint List were mysteriously absent from the votes, which helped defeat the no-confidence motions.

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