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Israeli Parliament committee to decide on dissolution and new elections

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Israeli Parliament committee to decide on dissolution and new elections

israel knesset
Photo: Reuters/Ronen Zvulun

Lawmakers of the Knesset House Committee will meet today to discuss a bill to dissolve parliament, an event that would trigger the fourth Israeli general election in less than two years.

The bill is backed by Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party, which disagrees with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud over the formulation of the government budget and whether it should include 2021 political allocations. The bill passed the first of three Knesset votes on December 2 by a margin of 61–51.

Prime Minister Netanyahu and the members of his right-wing coalition are only willing to vote on a budget that does not include 2021 allocations, contrary to the April agreement that formed a coalition government with the premiership alternating from Netanyahu to Gantz mid-term. Though negotiations continue, Netanyahu—who is on trial for corruption—is expected to hold out, increasing the likelihood of a new election.

If today’s bill is passed, Netanyahu would be unable to use the 2021 budget for political leverage and would be forced to hand the premiership to Gantz in November 2021. If the Knesset is dissolved, however, Netanyahu will retain the position through the election cycle. Recent polling shows significantly increased Likud support, so another election may return Likud to power.

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