Lapid and Bennett
Lapid and BennettHezki Baruc

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett addressed the nation Monday evening following his decision to dissolve the government and hold new elections in the fall.

"We face you today in a difficult moment, but with the understanding that we made the right decision for Israel. The formation of the government was the hardest thing in my life, but also the most Zionist thing in my life," Bennett said.

"We wanted to continue, believe me, we left no stone unturned. Not for our honor - but for the honor of this beautiful country. Last Friday I was told by security officials and lawyers that with the expiration of the Judea and Samaria regulations, the State of Israel will enter chaos. I could not allow this.

On Yair Lapid, Bennett said that "Yair embodies virtues of fairness and responsibility and he represents a significant population in Israel. In the coming days until the dissolution of the Knesset and the existence of the rotation between us, I will assist him in carrying out an orderly transition - as needed."

To Yamina voters who were disappointed with him, Bennett said: "I understand you, the move we made was not easy, I did it for the right reasons, I believed it was necessary to get Israel out of the pit, I had no option to evade it."

Foreign Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid said in a special statement: "I would like to thank my partner, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, for the responsibility he shows today, for putting the country before his personal interest. Our friendship has stood the test and faced obstacles, but always overcomes them."

"I will have enough more opportunities to apply to the State of Israel. At the moment, I would like to thank my partner, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, for the responsibility he reveals today, for the fact that he puts the country before his personal interest.

Lapid added: "Our challenges as a state cannot wait. We must address the cost of living, conduct the struggle against Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah, and face the forces that threaten to make Israel an undemocratic state."

Bennett and Lapid will submit a bill to this effect for approval by the Knesset next week.

Bennett decided to dissolve the Knesset after a conversation with the Attorney General last Friday about the chaos that will be created if the Judea and Samaria regulations are not passed. "I am not willing to accept blackmail and threats. If I harm the state because of the non-approval of the Judea and Samaria regulations, I will go," Bennett said.

Yair Lapid will become prime minister during the transition period as per the coalition agreement and will greet US President Joe Biden as Israel's premier during his visit to the Jewish State on July 13. Elections for the 25th Knesset will be held in October; at this point, the most likely date seems to be October 25.

With the dissolution of the government, Naftali Bennett will become the shortest-serving prime minister in Israel's history, a record which would be broken by Lapid if he does not remain prime minister following the elections.