Tel Aviv, Israel (CNN)The Israeli government collapsed on Tuesday at midnight (17.00 EST) local time after the country’s parliament failed to meet a deadline for passage of the 2020 and 2021 budgets. Israel will now head to its fourth elections in two years, probably on March 23 next year.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his erstwhile coalition partner, Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, sought to blame one another for the collapse of their seven-month-old government. “Blue and White withdrew from the agreements [to modify the original coalition agreement] and dragged us to unnecessary elections during the corona crisis,” said Netanyahu, who on Saturday evening became the first Israeli to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. “We do not want an election and we voted against it … but we are not afraid of elections — because we will win!”
Gantz, referencing the corruption charges facing Netanyahu, said: “I regret that the Prime Minister is preoccupied with his trial and not the public interest, and is prepared to drag the entire country into a period of uncertainty, instead of ensuring economic stability and a rehabilitation of the economy.”