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Israel faces new elections after parliament dissolves

(AP) – Israel faces an unprecedented snap election campaign – the second this year – after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a governing coalition and dissolved parliament instead.

Israel’s newly elected Knesset dissolved itself early on Thursday and set a new election date for Sept. 17.

It’s a shocking setback from Netanyahu, who had appeared to secure a comfortable win in last month’s election. But he was unable to build a parliamentary majority to rule because a traditional ally, Avigdor Lieberman, refused to bring his Yisrael Beiteinu faction into the coalition.

Netanyahu, who has led Israel for the past decade, now faces another challenge to his lengthy rule. It comes as he prepares for a pre-indictment hearing before expected criminal charges against him in a series of corruption cases.

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