Israeli lawmakers take a step toward new national elections

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel has taken a major step toward plunging into its fourth national election in under two years. Lawmakers supported by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s main coalition partner passed a preliminary proposal to dissolve parliament. The preliminary vote came only seven months after the coalition took office in a declaration of national unity to confront the coronavirus crisis. But since then, the alliance between Netanyahu’s Likud Party and Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s Blue and White has been locked in infighting. The action sets the stage for a formal vote to dissolve parliament as soon as next week and potentially sending Israeli back to the polls in March or April.