Israel Calls 4th Election in 2 Years as Unity Government Collapses

TEL AVIV - A majority of Israelis believe Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will beat his main political rival Benny Gantz in April's elections and serve another term, tie David Ben-Gurion and become the longest-serving prime minister in Israel's history, a new poll aired Monday showed.

Israel will hold its fourth elections in two years after the 23rd Knesset dissolved at midnight on Tuesday over a failure by the unity government’s parties to meet a budget deadline.

Elections were automatically called for March 23, 2021, only a year after the last round.

The national unity government between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz was established in May after their parties battled it out in three previous elections, as Breitbart Jerusalem reported.

They agreed to a rotational deal with Gantz taking over the premiership after 18 months.

The two now cast blame on each other.

“I did not want this election,” Netanyahu told reporters. “Likud did not want this election. We have voted again and again against elections. Unfortunately, Benny Gantz reneged on his agreements with us.”

He added that Likud would enjoy “a huge win.”

Gantz said the prime minister’s remarks were “more lies than words” and accused Netanyahu of sending the country to the polls as a way of avoiding his corruption trial.

The new election will see different faces from the right challenging Netanyahu, including former Likud minister, Gideon Sa’ar, whose party, New Hope, is committed to ousting Netanyahu while the right-wing Yamina party leader, Naftali Bennett, is also hoping to replace him.

Israel’s longest serving prime minister, Netanyahu is hoping to win his sixth election. He has been in office since 2009, and also served a previous term from 1996-1999.

Polls indicate Likud will still be the largest party, despite a dip in support.

Support for Gantz’s Blue and White party, meanwhile, has declined significantly, with polls showing it will squeak past the electoral threshold with 5 seats compared to the 33 seats it gained in March.


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