Naftali Bennett was Israel’s prime minister for a year. Now he is saying goodbye to office – and politics. Before that, however, he is still promoting the cooperation of all political camps in the country. Their power struggles delay the dissolution of parliament.

After the end of his eight-party government, Israel’s prime minister, Naftali Bennett, is retiring from politics. In a television speech on Wednesday evening, the 50-year-old announced that he would no longer stand in the parliamentary elections expected in autumn. He didn’t give any reasons.

Bennett, who comes from the national-religious camp, only served a year as prime minister. His coalition lost the majority in parliament. It has been expected for days that the Knesset will decide to dissolve it and pave the way for new elections. According to Israeli media, this should now take place on Thursday.

The government and opposition have not yet been able to agree on a date for the new election. In addition, both sides argue about which laws should still be passed. The new election is expected to take place at the end of October or beginning of November. It would be the fifth in three and a half years.

Until a new government is in office, Secretary of State Jair Lapid is to take over from Bennett as head of government. This rotation was agreed in the coalition agreement and has been confirmed for days. Bennett will remain Deputy Prime Minister.

Naftali Bennett: “The State of Israel is the love of my life”

Interior Minister Ajelet Schaked is set to chair Bennett’s ultra-right Jamina party. Israeli media are already speculating that the party could then form an alliance with opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu. Under Bennett, like other parties, she refused to form a coalition with the former prime minister and his right-wing conservative Likud party. The 72-year-old, who is accused of corruption, is hoping for a return to power.

“The State of Israel is the love of my life,” Bennett said in his address. He called on the political camps to work together and respect each other. “Only together can we win.” Bennett’s eight-party coalition was supported by parties from the right to the left – including, for the first time, an Arab party. Above all, the alliance was united by their dislike of Netanyahu.