Israeli leader calls for new elections
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced the dissolution of Parliament on Monday, calling for snap elections. This will be the government’s fifth election in three years. It could resurrect the nationalist religious government of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or usher in a period of political gridlock. Foreign Minister Yair Lapid will take over for Bennett on an interim basis.
Why is this happening now? The immediate cause was the looming expiration of certain special legal protections for settlers on the West Bank. Israeli parliament was set to extend these laws, but the hardline opposition surprisingly voted against it. The only way for Bennett’s coalition to keep the legal protections in place was to dissolve the government. Even before this crisis, Bennett’s fragile majority coalition had been losing political ground.
Dig deeper: From the WORLD archives, read Jill Nelson’s report about Israel’s withdrawal from several regions of the West Bank in 2005.
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