After the failure to reach a settlement last night and in the absence of a last-minute agreement on the budget in Israel, it is expected that the Knesset will dissolve itself at midnight Tuesday, so that Israel will head towards new parliamentary elections, which will be the fourth in nearly two years.
The ruling coalition in Israel failed to pass a law in the first reading, which would have allowed it to delay the date of approval of the draft budget in the Knesset, and if the deputies were unable to agree on another settlement within hours, this would lead to the dissolution of the Knesset automatically, and to conduct legislative elections early.
Yesterday night, the Knesset refused, by a majority of 49 (out of 120) to 47, to approve the bill proposed by the ruling coalition to delay approval of the budget for a period of two weeks, which would have spared the country from going to a new round of elections.
The current Israeli government was formed under an agreement last April between the Likud party led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Blue and White coalition headed by Defense Minister Benny Gantz.
The voting session on the bill witnessed what Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper considered the collapse of the ruling coalition on the air.
Likud member Michal Sher joined the opposition, which voted against the bill, amid reports that she might move to a new Amal party, which was recently founded by Gideon Sa’ar, which is also a splinter from Netanyahu’s party.
Likud member Sharen Haskell was absent from the vote, and refused to respond to many calls, according to the same source.
The spokesman for the coalition and the Likud bloc, Micky Zohar, announced in a statement after the failed vote that he would demand that Cher and Haskell be declared dissidents of the party, adding, “Sher voted against the bloc’s position and Haskell refused to come to vote, contrary to the Likud’s position, which did everything in its power to prevent going to the elections.
On the other hand, 3 representatives from Blue and White voted to annex the bill, as there were signs of rebellion in the coalition on Monday after it reached an agreement with Likud, which could cancel the way to new early elections.
According to a joint statement, the agreement reached by Netanyahu and Gantz, Sunday evening, to postpone the passage of the state budget for 2020 until the end of this month, and the 2021 budget until January 5, as a last chance before dissolving the Knesset and going to elections.
The essence of the dispute between Netanyahu and Gantz is that the former seeks to pass a one-year budget, while the latter insists on a two-year budget.
And if the Knesset dissolves itself, the next round of elections will be held on March 23, 2021, to be the fourth that Israel has witnessed in two years.