A long-awaited national budget has been approved by the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, before a deadline that would have prompted new elections, early on Thursday. A long-winded nightlong vote on hundreds of amendments resulted in an agreement on the budget bills for the first time in three years.
In the case the Knesset had not reached a consensus by November 14, it would have brought down the government of Naftali Bennett that was sworn in four months ago, giving former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu an opportunity for re-election.
“After years of chaos, we formed a government, we overcame the Delta variant, and now, thank God, we passed a budget for Israel,” Bennett expressed on his Twitter account.
On Wednesday, while delivering speeches attacking one another, Bennett and Netanyahu had opened the overnight voting session.
The government elected in June was a broad coalition of eight parties united by the desire to unseat Netanyahu, who led the country for a total of 15 years. It has a razor-thin margin of 61 seats in the 120-member assembly.