Dr Mike Evans

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid set to become prime minister until next elections

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid is set to become Israel’s prime minister until the next elections in the fall, as the Knesset is expected to vote on Wednesday to dissolve the current government.

The surprise move will end Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s run that began last year after forming a unity coalition with multiple parties in the Knesset.

“A year ago, we started the process of rebuilding, and now, we’re carrying it on, and carrying it on together,” Lapid said on Monday, according to the Times of Israel.

“Even if we are going to elections in a few months, the challenges we face will not wait,” he added.

The nation’s next election will likely take place in October, marking the fifth round of voting in three years as Israel’s political parties have fought to gain a majority. Lapid will serve as the prime minister to welcome President Joe Biden in July when he is expected to visit both Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Lapid will also likely have the opportunity to speak at the United Nations General Assembly in September prior to the next round of elections.

The current foreign minister will also face growing concerns regarding Iran. Recent developments have led to increased concern over its nuclear program as well as its efforts with proxy forces in areas near Israel’s borders. The issue will certainly be among the many topics Lapid discusses in meetings with Biden next month.

Some have even suggested that Lapid could position himself for a win as the next prime minister. However, he will face stiff competition, including a likely comeback bid from former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been vocal about his opposition to the current unity coalition. Netanyahu has not yet announced a run but has also not ruled it out, leaving many to expect his bid for a return to his former role.