After days of wrangling between the government and the opposition, the Israeli parliament passed the self-dissolution law on Thursday morning.

92 of the 120 members of the Knesset voted in favor of the bill in the final reading.

The fifth parliamentary election in three and a half years will take place in Israel on November 1st.

At the same time Prime Minister Naftali Bennett resigns;

at midnight the "alternating prime minister" Jair Lapid will take over from him.

The 58-year-old former foreign minister from the centrist Yesh Atid ("There is a future") party will become the 14th prime minister in the country's history.

He will hold office until a new government is formed.

Christian Meier

Political correspondent for the Middle East and Northeast Africa.

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Bennett announced Wednesday night that he would not run again in the election.

The right-wing Jamina party, which he has led so far, is to be led into the election by his deputy, Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked.

In a farewell address, Bennett called for the formation of a broad government after the election.

"Only together will we win," he said in the Knesset.

"Let's respect each other instead of hating."

Bennett had led the government for twelve and a half months since June 13 last year, the shortest time since any Israeli prime minister before him.

On June 20, he and Lapid announced the collapse of the eight-party coalition they led.

This had not had a majority in the Knesset for weeks after several MPs resigned due to the increasingly visible differences within the coalition.

The coalition was pressed for time

Nevertheless, for days after the announcement, there was a fierce struggle over the dissolution of parliament.

The opposition around the Likud party leader and former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried to buy time to get the 61 votes needed for a constructive vote of no confidence.

The governing coalition, on the other hand, wanted to get the motion for an early election through parliament quickly.

Time pressure also played a role here: The reason for the collapse of the coalition was the scheduled extension of a regulation that extends the validity of Israeli civil law to settlers in the West Bank.

The government had not managed to organize a majority in parliament for the renewal of the regulation, which is due every five years.

This was also due to the fact that the right-wing opposition voted unanimously against the law, even though it corresponds to their convictions.

The rule provides the legal basis for West Bank settlers to be treated like Israeli civilians, unlike Palestinian residents of Israeli-occupied territory, who are subject to military law.

For this reason, critics of the occupation refer to the regulation as the “apartheid law”.

Without an extension by Parliament, the regulation would have automatically expired at midnight on 30 June.

The only other way to uphold the rule was to dissolve Parliament;

in this case, it will be automatically extended by several months.

Bennett explicitly justified the end of the coalition and his resignation with the fact that expiry of the settler regulation at the end of June would have led to "serious security risks and constitutional chaos".

"I couldn't let that happen," he said.

Likud could become the strongest force again

Even after it became increasingly clear at the beginning of this week that Netanyahu would not be able to organize a majority for the formation of an alternative government under his leadership, the process of self-dissolution dragged on.

One reason was disagreement about the election date.

The right-wing opposition approved October 25.

The date falls at the end of a Jewish holiday week, which would likely increase voter turnout among ultra-Orthodox.

The coalition parties, on the other hand, wanted the election to be held on November 1st.

This would give Lapid more time to pose as interim prime minister.

Until recently, the opposition made its support for two important coalition legislation dependent on the election taking place on the date it wanted.

However, the application to hold the election on October 25 finally failed in the Knesset on Thursday morning.

As a result, the two bills dealing with local public transport and visa facilitation for Israelis traveling to the United States were also not passed.

Future Prime Minister Lapid visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial after the vote in the Knesset.

In the afternoon he was supposed to take part in a handover ceremony in the Prime Minister's office and then meet President Yitzhak Herzog at his residence together with his wife Lihi.

Opposition leader Netanyahu, who is considered Lapid's closest competitor in the upcoming elections, described the outgoing coalition as a "failed experiment" in his speech in the Knesset.

He called a possible future government under Lapid's leadership a "government based on the Muslim Brotherhood", but advocated a government under his leadership: a "broad and strong national government" which would bring "Israel pride, strength and hope". bring back

Polls see the Likud as the strongest party by a wide margin.

However, it is uncertain whether the right-wing camp will achieve its own majority.

Possibly the Palestinian-Israeli parties could tip the scales for a majority for either the left or the right camp.

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