Israel's parliament to dissolve, Foreign Minister Lapid to become prime minister

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Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid have agreed to dissolve parliament, triggering a new election, and Lapid will in the meantime take over as prime minister, an official said, confirming local media reports.

A vote will be held in parliament next week, after which Lapid will take over the premiership, the official said. Lapid and Bennett were expected to issue statements at 8 p.m. (1800 GMT).

Lapid and Bennett in June 2021 had formed an unlikely coalition after two years of political stalemate, ending the record reign of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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The government of right-wing, liberal and Muslim Arab parties was fragile from the start.

With a razor-thin parliamentary majority and divided on major policy issues such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and state and religion issues, the eight-faction alliance began to fracture when a handful of members abandoned the coalition.

The government's parliamentary majority was soon lost.

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