On December 21, Prime Minister Netanyahu and Benny Gantz, head of the Blue and White party, failed to pass the state budget. This means the Israeli Knesset (their Parliament) was automatically dissolved on December 23, the Middle East Monitor reported. The deadline for budget approval was August 25, 2020 – 100 days after the government was formed. But it was postponed four months. Netanyahu wanted a budget for year 2020, while Gantz wanted a two-year budget covering both 2020 and 2021 – which was agreed upon during negotiations between the two when they formed a coalition government in May 2020.
The May agreement came after three elections within a year produced a stalemate – Netanyahu’s Likud party won the most votes, but not enough parliamentary seats to form a coalition. Polls are currently projecting a similar deadlock, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The result of the dissolution is Israel will face a fourth election in less than two years. It is set to be held on March 23, 2021.