By Mustafa Deveci
JERUSALEM (AA) - Israelis will head to the polls for the third time in less than a year after lawmakers failed to meet a Wednesday deadline.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his main political rival Benny Gantz, the leader of the centrist Blue and White alliance, failed to form a government in elections on April 9 and Sept. 17.
President Reuven Rivlin offered Israeli legislators the opportunity to form a majority bloc in the 120-seat Knesset, or parliament, with a deadline of midnight Wednesday. But the approach failed.
The Knesset then voted to dissolve itself and hold an election in March, as new elections must be held in 90 days according to Israeli law.
After the day of the election clashed with Israel’s Purim holiday, lawmakers agreed to move the date to Monday, March 2, changing the tradition of holding elections on Tuesdays.
Purim is celebrated every year on the 14th of the Hebrew month of Adar, which generally falls in late winter or early spring.
*Writing by Sibel Morrow