Israel edges in the direction of new nationwide election in festering coalition disaster

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© Reuters. Knesset holds preliminary vote to dissolve parliament

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) -Israel edged towards an early election, its fourth in two years, after parliament on Wednesday gave preliminary approval to a bill to dissolve itself amid a crisis in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s fractious coalition.

The legislation, brought by the opposition but supported by Defence Minister Benny Gantz, Netanyahu’s main coalition partner, still needs to pass three future parliamentary votes to become law, giving both men some breathing room to resolve their differences.

Netanyahu, head of the right-wing Likud party, and Gantz, who leads the centrist Blue and White Faction, are at odds over the passing of a national budget.

Gantz, who challenged Netanyahu in three inconclusive elections since mid-2019, joined a coalition government with Israel’s longest-serving leader in May marked by frequent feuding.

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