The Knesset expected to pass the final legislation for its dispersal tomorrow (Monday) and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid to become prime minister soon after. Lapid will take over as caretaker prime minister through elections in the fall, according to the coalition agreement.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Lapid last week announced their decision to dissolve the 24th Knesset after just one year in power due to their inability to keep their narrow, politically diverse coalition together any longer. If all goes as planned, Israel will head to its fifth national election in under four years in the fall.
The Knesset on Wednesday approved a preliminary bill with the support of the Joint List to dissolve itself and is expected to formally disperse this week after going through two committee reviews and three more votes to voluntarily disband. Lapid will take over as caretaker prime minister through elections in the fall, according to the coalition agreement.
Lapid is not expected to make any dramatic changes to the government as prime minister during the interim government, the Kan public broadcaster said. Although the Knesset will largely cease to legislate after its dispersal, the government will remain in place until a new one is sworn in, post elections.
Polls have predicted another deadlock after elections, with neither Netanyahu’s bloc or the parties in Bennett’s coalition able to cobble together a majority government, without any changes in political alliances. All surveys have found both sides falling below the needed 61 seats in the 120-seat Knesset, with the Joint List faction, which is not aligned with either side, holding the balance of power. The eight parties forming the current government will not necessarily remain united following their fractious coalition experience, though.
In a wide-ranging, candid interview on TV, Bennett called for an end to the practice of “invalidating” certain candidates (i.e., Netanyahu) and parties by their political opponents, and said he believed in the possibility of a broad coalition, spanning from the Islamist Ra’am party to the racist Religious Zionism and without the Joint List.
According to Hadash there is no difference between Bennett, Lapid and Netanyahu. “The only change that occurred under this government was to shift the names of the prime ministers, from Netanyahu to Bennett,” told Hadash MK Aida Touma-Sliman (Joint List) the plenum on Wednesday. “This country actualize a far-right policy of expanding the settlements, destroying homes and ethnic cleansing in the occupied West Bank,” said Touma-Sliman. “The government that called itself the change government did not bring about any real brave change.”