09:23 GMT28 January 2021
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    Previously, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu refused to pass a budget and renew the coalition's power-sharing deal with the Blue and White party of Defence Minister Benny Gantz.

    The Israeli Knesset adopted a preliminary proposal to dissolve itself on Wednesday, paving the way for another snap election, which would be the fourth national vote in two years. The MPs approved the motion 61 to 54, which means a formal vote to dissolve the parliament will take place as soon as next week.

    The bill to dissolve the Knesset now has to be approved in a committee, controlled by the Blue and White Party, and then pass two more votes before the country can set a date for the next elections. If the legislation is adopted without delay, Israelis will have to go back to the polls in March or April.

    A handout picture released by the Israeli Knesset (parliament) spokesperson's office on May 17, 2020, shows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and alternate PM Benny Gantz during the swearing-in ceremony of the new government in Jerusalem
    © AFP 2020 / ADINA VALMAN
    A handout picture released by the Israeli Knesset (parliament) spokesperson's office on May 17, 2020, shows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and alternate PM Benny Gantz during the swearing-in ceremony of the new government in Jerusalem

    Netanyahu earlier accused the opposition of trying to "drag the State of Israel into unnecessary elections", saying that now "is the time for unity".

    However, he refused to adopt an emergency budget for two years, while his rival and coalition partner Benny Gantz demanded that Netanyahu prepare and submit the 2021 budget to the Knesset for approval no later than the beginning of December.

    Netanyahu and Gantz created a joint government in May following three elections, none of which had allowed a coalition to be formed. The agreement between the rivals, among other points, included a condition that Gantz would become the country's prime minister in 2021.

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    snap elections, snap elections, snap election, dissolving parliament, dissolution, israeli knesset, Knesset, Knesset, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel
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