Israel's outgoing Prime Minister Naftali Bennett arrives to speak to lawmakers from his Yamina party at the Knesset (parliament) in Jerusalem, on June 29, 2022. - Bennett will not stand at the upcoming general election, his spokesperson said, just hours ahead of the expected dissolution of parliament. (Photo by AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP)

After the end of his eight-party government, Israel’s prime minister, Naftali Bennett, is retiring from politics. In a television speech on Wednesday evening, the 50-year-old announced that he would no longer stand in the parliamentary elections expected in autumn. There had been speculation for days about the departure of the previous head of government from politics. He did not give any reasons for his withdrawal.

Bennett, who comes from the national-religious camp, only served a year as prime minister. His coalition no longer has a majority in parliament. It has been expected for days that the Knesset will decide to dissolve it, paving the way for new elections. In the evening, however, further delays became apparent. The new election is expected to take place at the end of October or beginning of November. It would be the fifth in three and a half years.

By the time a new government is in office, Foreign Secretary Jair Lapid is set to take over the post of head of government from Bennett. This rotation had been agreed in the coalition agreement. Bennett will remain Deputy Prime Minister.