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Dissolution of 23rd Knesset approved in preliminary reading

The Knesset approved in preliminary reading bills to dissolve the 23rd Knesset.

The bills passed with a majority of 61 in support compared to 54 opposed. The Ra’am faction was absent from the vote.

Yamina Chairman MK Naftali Bennett spoke at the debate on the dissolution of the Knesset and attacked MK Yair Lapid.

“There’s a common denominator between Lapid and Netanyahu, both of whom are involved in the politics of spreading hatred, for the haredim and for the Arabs and for the settlers.”

“Someone who lives in Yitzhar is also a human being, even Leftists love the State of Israel.”

“We’ll bring something new. Both Lapid and Netanyahu failed miserably. Today it means that either the government falls, or the State falls apart.”

“This is a dramatic and difficult moment for the Knesset and the country as a whole,” said Meretz chairman MK Nitzan Horowitz earlier.

“But what is much worse and even more difficult is the fact that our prime minister is a person under indictment who abuses his position each and every day with the goal of erasing his indictment. And he’s even doing it while a pandemic rages on and Israeli society is stuck in an unprecedented crisis.”

Once the bill has passed the preliminary vote, it will need to pass three additional votes for the dissolution to go into effect and force new elections; Israel’s fourth in less than two years.

Following the preliminary vote in the Knesset plenum, the bill to dissolve the Knesset will be sent to committee for deliberation.

On Tuesday, Defense Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz (Blue and White) announced that the Blue and White party will vote in favor of the bill to dissolve the Knesset.

Slamming his coalition partner, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Gantz said that the Knesset’s dissolution could be averted if Netanyahu passes a biannual budget immediately.

“I had no illusions about Netanyahu, I knew his record as a serial breaker of promises, but I thought Netanyahu would rise to the occasion given the scope [of the issue],” Gantz said at the start of his remarks, which were delivered at a news conference in Ramat Gan.

“Netanyahu does not comply and the public pays the price. Netanyahu did not lie to me, he lied to you. He did not deceive me, but all the citizens of Israel.”

“Netanyahu has made the fight against the coronavirus a personal matter, while making everything his personal achievement. The only rule by which decisions are made is an attempt to get out of his trial,” Ganz said.

“Netanyahu decided to dismantle the government and lead us towards an election. The path he chose is not to approve the state budget,” Ganz accused.

Netanyahu responded to Gantz’s announcement, warning that toppling the government and heading to early elections in the midst of the coronavirus crisis would hurt the country.

“I’ve been saying for a long time, this isn’t the time for elections, this is the time for unity. This is the time to continue to bring vaccines, this is the time to continue our determined war on coronavirus,” said Netanyahu.

“It’s time to continue to help businesses, the self-employed, the citizens. It’s time to continue to expand the circle of peace, and it’s time to place a unified front in the face of difficult political and security challenges that still lie ahead,” Netanyahu added.

Source: Arutz Sheva