Israeli lawmakers vote to dissolve the parliament, known as the Knesset, setting the stage for the occupying entity's fifth election in less than four years, as the regime sinks deeper into political uncertainty.
The Knesset dissolution bill was passed in a final reading on Thursday and set November 1 as the date for the new snap elections.
The lawmakers had unanimously approved a draft bill to dissolve the parliament on Tuesday after prime minister Naftali Bennett announced last week that his year-old, deeply-divided coalition was no longer tenable due to a series of defections, which undermined the ability of his cabinet to pass legislation and govern effectively.
Bennett will hand power to foreign minister Yair Lapid as caretaker prime minister in accordance with the power-sharing deal they agreed upon following inconclusive elections last year.
Bennett announced he would not run in the upcoming election but would retain his position as alternate prime minister until the election.
Lapid and his Yesh Atid party were anxious to finalize the process as quickly as possible to thwart the lingering possibility that opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu could form a new coalition in the current Knesset.
Despite being on trial for corruption on charges he denies, Netanyahu and his allies were holding talks seeking to form a new Netanyahu-led alliance within the current parliament, which would have averted new elections.
The upcoming vote, however, will give Netanyahu, the current opposition leader, a chance to regain power.
Israel held four inconclusive elections between 2019 and 2021, which were largely referendums about Netanyahu’s ability to rule while on trial for corruption.
Bennett formed the eight-party coalition in June 2021 after successive inconclusive elections.
His ideologically-divided coalition was an alliance of parties ranging from the right to an Arab Muslim party and included right-wingers like Bennett and Lapid’s centrist Yesh Atid party.
The coalition lost its majority earlier this year as it has been wracked by infighting and defections in recent months.