Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, narrowly passed its first budget since 2018 on Thursday. It was approved by 61 of 120 lawmakers.
The vote means that Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s government has just met a necessary deadline to stay in power and Israel will avoid having its fifth national election in two years.
Failure to win parliamentary ratification for the 2021 package by November 14 would have triggered fresh elections.
What this means for Naftali Bennett’s government
The budget’s approval was a much-needed victory for Bennett’s fragile coalition of right-wing, centrist, left-wing and Arab parties.
Israel’s last elections in March saw former leader Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party dip in the polls, leaving him out of government for the first time since 2009 amid corruption allegations against both him and his wife.
Although Bennett’s nationalist New Right party did not win as many seats as Likud, he managed to come out on top by forming an alliance with the centrist Yesh Atid and then several other parties.
“After years of chaos, we established a government, overcame the (COVID-19) delta variant and now, thank God, we passed a budget for Israel,” Bennett wrote on Twitter.
es/rt (dpa, Reuters)
Photo credit: Ahmed Gharabli – AFP/ Getty Images – Israel’s parliament, the Knesset.