23rd Knesset dissolved, Israel going to elections
Levin: At midnight, the Knesset disperses. (Photo: Knesset Spokeswoman — Danny Shem Tov)

Less than 24 hours after the compromise between the Likud and Blue and White failed to pass in the Knesset, the 23rd Knesset officially dissolved on Tuesday at midnight after a short tenure.

The 23rd Knesset was sworn in on March 16, 2020 and served a little less than a year and a month, after the budget law for 2020 was not approved even following an extension decided upon as part of the so-called "Hauser compromise".

Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin said shortly before the Knesset officially dissolved, "At midnight, the mandate ends, and since the state budget for 2020 has not been approved, I announce the dissolution of the 23rd Knesset. We are in a complex and challenging period, yet one of many controversies. The controversy that exists in the public was naturally expressed here in this building as well."

"We are embarking on a difficult election campaign. I call on each and every one of us, and each and every one of the citizens of Israel, to refrain from escalating tensions and to do everything possible so that the election campaign is conducted and ended in an orderly manner and without violence," he continued.

"I thank all the members of the Knesset, the Knesset management and the Knesset staff for the great effort to maintain a parliamentary routine under the complicated conditions of this challenging period," Levin concluded.

The outgoing Knesset saw the continuation of the political crisis that caused each of the two Knessets that preceded it to serve for less than six months, and the election campaign that ends its tenure is the fourth election in less than two years in Israel.

During the current Knesset, a new government was formed, the 35th government and the fifth government headed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, but since its inception, the government has not been able to function properly.

The current government was formed as a rotating government headed by Netanyahu and Benny Gantz in a special procedure, in accordance with an amendment to the Basic Law of the Government that was enacted specifically for its establishment, and was supposed to prevent a situation where one party tries to violate the agreement.

However, the law is worded in such a way that it has one loophole left, which concerns a situation in which the state budget is not approved, and it is this loophole that allowed Netanyahu to bring about a situation in which the Knesset dissolves and, despite this, the premiership does not pass to Gantz.

The elections to the 24th Knesset will take place, unless it is decided otherwise in the coming days, on March 23, 2021.

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