Full Knesset session
Full Knesset sessionYonatan Sindel/Flash 90

The bill to dissolve the Knesset and hold early elections passed its first reading on Wednesday. The proposal was approved by a majority of 104 supporters and no opponents.

The government proposal was accompanied by private proposals by Knesset members Robert Ilatov, Tzipi Livni, Tamar Zandberg, Yair Lapid and Ayman Odeh.

Yariv Levin, the minister who liaisons between the government and the Knesset, said: "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.

Afterwards a vote was taken on each of the proposals separately and all the proposals were approved. They will be merged into one proposal that will be passed to the Knesset Committee for preparation for the second and third readings.