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Israeli Prime Minister summons Cabinet before Parliament dissolves

AVIV Tel, Israel –

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett convened his last Cabinet meeting as prime minister on Sunday, with parliament expected to dissolve itself this week, triggering new elections in the fall. .

Bennett’s decision to vote puts an end to an ambitious political project to unite eight ideologically distinct parties that have chosen to put their differences aside to oust the former leader. Benjamin Netanyahu, the current opposition leader, who now has the opportunity to return to lead the country. The election, the fifth the country has held in three years, deepens an unprecedented political crisis in Israel.

At the meeting, Bennett listed a series of achievements under his longstanding government and thanked his coalition partners, including moderate parties that support the Palestinian state, non-nationalists and non-Palestinian nationalists. for the first time in the history of Israel, an Arab politics. parties.

“It’s a great government, yes, based on a complex coalition. And here in this room is a group of people who know how to put aside ideological disagreements, rise above and work for the state of Israel. ,” he say.

As part of the power-sharing deal that brought Bennett to power, he is expected to hand over the role of prime minister to Foreign Secretary Yair Lapid, a former center broadcaster, after parliament is dissolved. . Elections are expected around the end of October and polls show Mr Netanyahu’s Likud party is expected to win the most seats.

But as in most rounds of voting in today’s tumultuous political times, Netanyahu, who is on trial for corruption, has been unable to muster a majority to form a coalition government, with some His traditional allies refused to join. That could prolong the crisis after the upcoming vote.

While Bennett’s government has helped stabilize the economy and navigate last year’s coronavirus pandemic, it is beset by disagreements over the very issues it seeks to avoid, particularly the 55-year occupation. of Israel for the West Bank. Bennett said he decided to end his political experimentation because the government was unable to renew regulations that would guarantee separate legal systems for Jewish settlers in the territory and Palestinians.

Bennett’s nationalist faction, Yamina, has been thwarted by defectors, whose lawmakers argue that the prime minister, a former leader of the settlers, has veered too much towards the center in the effort. keep the union intact.

Bennett, who entered politics a decade ago, has yet to say whether he will run in the upcoming election.

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