Israeli Knesset moves towards snap election

STORY: The Knesset voted unanimously to dissolve in a preliminary reading of a bill expected to be finalized next week, after which the centrist Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, 58, will take over from Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at the head of an interim government.

Lapid, who with Bennett ended Netanyahu's record reign a year ago by forming a rare political alliance of rightists, liberals and Arab parties, which faltered in past months amid infighting, has cast the upcoming election as a battle between moderates and Netanyahu-embraced extremists.

Netanyahu, presently Israel's opposition leader, was delighted by the move by Bennett and Lapid to disband what he has called the worst government in Israel's history, hoping to break his own record and win a sixth term in office.

Four surveys published on Tuesday (June 21) found Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party and its likely allied nationalist and ultra-religious parties as leading the polls, but still short of a governing majority in Israel's 120-seat Knesset.

The election's exact election date, likely between late September to early November, will be decided next week.

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