A no-confidence motion initiated by opposition leader Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid-Telem) to disperse the Knesset was passed by a vote of 61-54 on Wednesday afternoon.
“I call upon the Knesset to vote in favor of this bill, to disperse and let the people of Israel choose a government that genuinely cares about them,” Lapid said.
The bill was also sponsored by Meretz, Yamina and three out of the four parties of the Arab Joint List. The members of Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu, the Labor party and the two members of the Derech Eretz party voted in favor of the bill.
The coalition cracked wide open as the members of Blue and White also voted in favor of the bill, in accordance with the bombshell announcement by Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz on Tuesday night that he is supporting the measure. Gantz blamed the coalition crisis on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who has refused to comply with the coalition agreement to pass a biannual budget.
The four members of Ra’am, headed by MK Mansour Abbas, who has recently cooperated with Netanyahu on various issues, sat out the vote despite intense pressure from the other Arab parties to support the bill.
The passing of the preliminary reading has no immediate implications since it must be passed three more times in the plenum and three times in the Knesset House Committee to become law.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will speak to the public regarding the vote at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, the Likud party announced.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)