Netanyahu delays threat of another Israeli election with budget compromise


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel will not head to a fourth round of elections just yet.

The government had been set to automatically dissolve on Monday at midnight if no budget bill was passed, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed on Sunday evening to postpone a budget vote by 100 days.

“This is the time for unity; it is not time for elections,” Netanyahu said in an address to the nation.

At issue is Netanyahu’s desire to pass a one-year budget, though his coalition agreement with Benny Gantz, who is set to rotate into the prime minister role next year, calls for a two-year budget through 2021.

Netanyahu told a reporter at the news conference that he did not tell Gantz, his former campaign rival and now coalition partner, about his decision to postpone the budget vote.

Israel, which is struggling through a second wave of increased coronavirus infections, held three elections between April 2019 and March 2020.

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