Israeli government agrees to dissolve parliament amid political crisis

Jerusalem, Jun 20 (EFE).- The Israeli government, headed by prime minister Naftali Bennet, agreed Monday to dissolve parliament, triggering early elections, local media reported.

Bennet and foreign minister Yair Lapid are expected to issue statements at 8 pm local time and a vote in parliament will be held next week.

Lapid would take over as prime minister until a new government is formed following elections, set to take place in October, according to Israeli media.

The coalition government lost its majority on April 6, when lawmaker Idit Silman, of the nationalist party Yamina – that of Bennet – distanced herself from the government, forcing the coalition to seek allies in other parties in order to pass laws.

Raam, the Arab Islamist party which contributes four deputies to the governing coalition, also suspended its participation in the government for three weeks in April under pressure from its electorate following the violent clashes on the second Friday of Ramadan, which left 150 Palestinians wounded and more than 400 arrested.

In recent weeks, speculation that another Yamina MP, Nir Orbach, will leave the coalition to join the opposition led by former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party arose.

The coalition government was sworn in a year ago as the most diverse executive in the country’s history, with an amalgam of eight political parties from the ultra-nationalist right, to the pacifist left and the unprecedented inclusion of an Arab party. EFE


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