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Israel’s parliament to dissolve, Foreign Minister Lapid to become prime minister

A combination of file photos shows Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett speaking in Jerusalem May 14, 2018 and Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid delivering a speech in Tel Aviv, Israel March 24, 2021.
Ammar Awad; Amir Cohen | Reuters

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid have agreed to dissolve parliament, triggering a new election, and Lapid will in the meantime take over as prime minister, an official said, confirming local media reports.

A vote will be held in parliament next week, after which Lapid will take over the premiership, the official said. Lapid and Bennett were expected to issue statements at 8 p.m. (1800 GMT).

Lapid and Bennett in June 2021 had formed an unlikely coalition after two years of political stalemate, ending the record reign of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The government of right-wing, liberal and Muslim Arab parties was fragile from the start.

With a razor-thin parliamentary majority and divided on major policy issues such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and state and religion issues, the eight-faction alliance began to fracture when a handful of members abandoned the coalition.

The government’s parliamentary majority was soon lost.

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