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Bibi 2.0? Israeli Parliament Votes To Dissolve, Clears The Way For Netanyahu’s Return

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With the Israeli governing coalition no more as of Thursday, opposition leader and former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has a clear shot at regaining the parliament, according to The Times of Israel.

Parliament, known as the Knesset, voted 92-0 to dissolve in a third and final session Thursday morning, according to a press release, just a year after the former government, under Yamina party leader Naftali Bennett, was sworn in. The nation will head to new elections on Nov. 1 for the fifth time in less than four years, the Times of Israel reported.

“You promised change, talked about healing, ran an experiment, and the experiment failed,” Netanyahu said in a speech Thursday prior to the vote, referring to Naftali’s broad coalition government, according to the Times of Israel.

A national poll, published Wednesday, found that Netanyahu’s Likud party would receive a greater proportion of votes than any other party in a hypothetical election, winning 34 seats to the next largest party’s 20, according to Israel National News.

The day before the vote, soon-to-be-ousted Prime Minister Bennett announced that he intended to withdraw from politics, leaving Ayelet Sheked to head the Yamina party. Sheked has expressed willingness to work with Likud in the past, potentially to form a coalition government, according to Jewish News Syndicate.

The vote was expected to take place Wednesday, but disputes on legislation tied to the dissolution bill stymied progress in the Knesset, the Times of Israel reported. Members convened at midnight Wednesday for a possible vote, only to return home with major issues unresolved, The Times of Israel reported.

Islamist parties voiced objections in hopes of delaying the vote until after legislation extending Israeli law to communities in the West Bank expired Thursday night, according to The Times of Israel.

Likud used the time to wrangle Knesset members, including Nir Orbach, from Yamina, according to Israel National news. The final convening was delayed until Thursday morning, where the members of parliament passed the dispersal bill amid a slurry of verbal arrows, according to The Times of Israel. 

Bennett’s coalition collapsed after it failed to pass the settlement bill and public polls showed an increasing lack of confidence in the government. The Knesset agreed on June 20 to dissolve.

Former Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid will take over as interim leader at midnight on Thursday, The Times of Israel reported.

The Knesset will continue to pass provisional laws until the new Knesset takes over, according to the Israel Democracy Institute.

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