Dr Mike Evans

Israel to dissolve Knesset, plan new elections for prime minister with Bennett to step down

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid announced on Monday that they plan to dissolve the Knesset in a move that would trigger a new election later this year.

The move would force the fifth election in three years as the nation’s political parties have struggled to gather enough seats to secure a majority.

The plan will include Bennett stepping down right away, with Lapid serving as interim leader until the next election, which could take place as early as October.

“A year ago, we started the process of rebuilding, and now we’re carrying it on and carrying it on together,” Lapid said in a statement.

“What we need to do today is go back to the concept of Israeli unity – not to let dark forces tear us apart from within. We must remind ourselves that we love one another, love our country, and that only together will we prevail,” he added.

The controversy behind dissolving the Knesset included a West Bank emergency bill that had no way to pay under the current government structure. Bennett claimed he initiated the move that would force a new election to stop harm to Israel’s security.

The major upheaval has led some to question whether former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would run for another term. Netanyahu has not ruled out the option, though he has been outspoken in his frustrations regarding the current unity government. If Netanyahu does run, he’ll need to find a way to piece together a major of votes in the Knesset.

Bennett’s days in politics may not be done either. YNet News reported that Bennett intends to run as Yamina chair after briefly leading the unity party consisting of nationalist, centrist, left-wing and Arab parties.