Israel dissolves government, will hold 5th election in less than four years

The Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's governing coalition was held together on shaky ideological grounds that ultimately gave way.
This picture taken on November 1, 2021 from the Mount of Olives shows a crow perching on a figure of two superimposed Stars of David at the top of a flagpole carrying an Israeli flag, with houses in Jerusalem's predominantly Arab neighbourhood of Silwan appearing in the background.

Israel will head to its fifth election in less than four years after Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid were unable to stabilize their shaky coalition.

In a joint statement on Monday, Bennett and Lapid said they will introduce a bill to dissolve the Knesset (Israel's parliament) next week. Elections will likely be held in October.

Reporting out of Israel suggests that Bennett and Lapid were seeking to initiate an election on their own terms, as opposed to being forced into one by opposition leader and former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The government was fragile due to the fundamental ideological differences present in its eight constituent parties. 

Lapid will now become caretaker prime minister until the election, at which time a new government will come into power. Subsequently, it will be Lapid who greets Joe Biden when the U.S. president visits Israel next month.

Bennett's government defeated two votes of no confidence in the Knesset on Monday afternoon, despite a powerful opposition coalition.