The bill to dissolve the 20th Knesset passed its second and third readings Wednesday evening, shortly after it had passed its first reading. The bill passed its third reading with 102 MKs favor, 2 against - Likud MKs Yehuda Glick and Yaron Mazuz.
The bill establishes the dissolution of the 20th Knesset and sets elections for the 21st Knesset on April 9.
Though legally dissolved, the Knesset will continue passing laws next week, but only those agreed upon by both the coalition and opposition.
The passage of the bill comes after the coalition on Monday agreed to dissolve the Knesset and go to early elections, after a failure to reach agreement on a bill regulating the draft of haredim. The coalition had been left with a shaky one-seat majority since the resignation of former Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and the departure of his Yisrael Beytenu party from the coalition.
A poll taken after the coalition decision found Netanyahu likely to win reelection.
Tourism Minister Yarv Levin, who serves as the liaison between the government and Knesset, said this morning upon the opening of the Knesset hearing, "We are completing a full four-year term here, four years of great momentum, of great work, of tremendous achievements, both by the government and by the entire coalition that operated here in the Knesset."
"I want to recall the Nationality Law, one of the most important laws ever enacted by the Knesset, is a foundation for the existence of the state and its character as the national home of the Jewish people," Levin added.
He noted that "the past four years have been characterized by extensive activity in all areas of life, and an exceptional achievement was the historic event of the transfer of the American Embassy to Jerusalem, which we have been wishing for for many years. Along with this tremendous political achievement, very important and unprecedented achievements were achieved in promoting bilateral relations between Israel and a long list of countries in the world."
"This was four years of unprecedented economic growth that benefited all sectors of the population, especially the weaker populations in need of assistance and support, and this government has invested extraordinary efforts in strengthening and narrowing the gaps. I am convinced and hopeful that we will be able to see the next government take office as soon as possible and continue on the way, with the achievements of the current government."
On the other hand, opposition leader MK Tzipi Livni said, "This is an emergency for the State of Israel, and Israel needs a reversal. It is possible and it is critical to the future of the State of Israel in order to save the country from the government that ruled here in recent years."
"For 70 years there has never been a dispute about democracy itself. I have seen the government mocking everything that democracy represents: We need to join forces and work together and connect to the common denominator and connect those who sit on the opposition side from different parties as well as the new forces that want to come to the Knesset, and form a government with all the forces that will join us," Livni said.