Benny Gantz
Benny GantzPhoto: Ariel Hermoni/IMoD

Defense Minister Benny Gantz was caught off-guard by the announcement of the dissolution of the coalition by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid.

In an initial response in the Knesset, Gantz said: "It is a pity that the state has to be dragged to elections. We will continue to function as a transition government as much as possible. I do not judge the decision."

Bennett and Lapid on Monday evening announced that they will submit a bill to this effect for approval by the Knesset next week.

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.

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.