Israel embarked Thursday on an unprecedented snap election campaign the second this year after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a governing coalition and instead dissolved parliament.
In what seemed an improbable scenario just days ago, Israel’s newly elected Knesset dissolved itself in an early morning 74-45 vote and set a new election date for Sept. 17.
The parliament’s disbanding comes just a month after it was sworn in and sets the stage for a second election in the same year a first in Israeli history.
The developments were a shocking setback for Netanyahu, who had appeared to secure a comfortable win in last month’s election. But he was unable to build a parliamentary majority because his traditional ally, Avigdor Lieberman, refused to bring his Yisrael Beiteinu faction into the coalition.