A parliament panel has approved the dissolution bill, which sets the stage for a third general election to be held in Israel in less than a year, for first plenum reading, Channel 13 reports. The bill will now be put to a first full Knesset (Israeli parliament) vote; if approved, it will go back to the special committee in charge of the dissolution of Israel’s 22-nd parliament. From there, it would head back to the plenum for two votes, which are set to be held around midnight.
Wednesday midnight is the deadline for the Knesset to pick the next lawmaker who would try to form Israel’s next government after leaders of the two biggest parties – Likud’s Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White’s Benny Gantz – failed to do so. Should no contenders be found, this would automatically put Israel on track for the next elections, set to be held on March 2. Earlier in the day, it was reported that Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s caretaker PM facing charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust announced by the country’s Attorney General, was mulling a waiver of his right for immunity that could pave way to a last-minute deal on a unity government. Sources in Likud told Israel’s Haaretz newspaper, however, that they did not expect Netanyahu to actually make this move.