Israel's coalition govt. set to dissolve parliament

Israel's coalition government has decided to hold a vote to dissolve parliament, so that new elections can take place later this year. The coalition has been dealing with internal divisions and political gridlock.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and his main partner in the coalition, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, announced the decision at a joint news conference on Monday.

They said a vote will be held in parliament next week to pave the way for the dissolution. Bennett said the decision was not easy, but that it is the right one for Israel.

If a general election is called, it will be the country's fifth in just over three years.

The coalition government was formed one year ago. It replaced an administration led by then Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that lasted for more than 10 years.

But the fragile coalition, which is comprised of eight centrist, right-wing and other parties, disagreed on various matters, including some related to the issue of Palestine.

Some lawmakers rebelled. As a result, the parliament was unable to extend a law on the West Bank settlements, which is due to expire. The law has been extended every year.

Recent polls show that the public's support is closely divided between Netanyahu's right-wing and far-right groups and other political camps.

Observers say an inconclusive election could result in the return of political turmoil.