The Israeli Knesset voted at midnight Thursday to dissolve itself, triggering elections on September 17. The unprecedented vote happened after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to assemble a governing coalition by the end of the day Wednesday, his final deadline.
Netanyahu was seen as the winner of the April 9 election because right-wing parties, which all supported Netanyahu for prime minister, garnered a majority in Knesset. But Netanyahu was unable to get those parties to join a governing coalition with one another. The sticking point was a law obligating haredi Orthodox men to participate in Israel’s mandatory military draft.
Rather than give his rivals a chance at forming a government, Netanyahu and his allies voted to trigger another round of elections. Arab Israeli lawmakers, hoping for more seats in a new election, also voted yes.