Israel’s political leaders have one less day than they thought for passing a state budget, Knesset legal advisers revealed on Wednesday.
Until now, December 23 — next Wednesday — was given as the final date to approve a budget. The general understanding was that the deadline would expire at midnight of that day, automatically triggering dispersal of the Knesset and new elections.
However, Knesset legal officials clarified on Wednesday that it was a misreading of the law which extended a previous August deadline until December. The language of the extension specifies that December 23 was “defined as the determining day for the date of dispersal.”
“To avoid any doubt, it is more correct to interpret the expression regarding the date of dispersal as the beginning of December 23, and therefore the date is at midnight between Tuesday and Wednesday,” a spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, the Knesset was reportedly almost certain to disperse itself—all over but the voting, now set to be held next week.
Meanwhile, unnamed political sources told Channel 12 news that communication has broken down between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud and Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s Blue and White parties on the budget issue.
The sources estimated that the chances of preventing an election are now “zero.”