JERUSALEM – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may call off the national election scheduled for September 17.
Netanyahu's spokesperson Yonatan Urich announced Tuesday that the prime minister would "consider" following Knesset procedures that would allow him to cancel the election and form a new government coalition.
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said he found a legal way for Netanyahu to cancel the election.
"I found a parliamentary framework and there is an option to cancel the most unnecessary elections in Israel's history. It is our obligation to allow the 21st Knesset to keep working," Edelstein said in a statement.
Israel's Channel 12 reports the framework would involve Knesset leaders canceling the summer recess and passing a bill to cancel the parliament's dispersal, and forming a wide government coalition.
The Knesset voted to dissolve itself last month after Netanyahu failed to form a government following the Likud Party's win during the April elections.
Netanyahu's rivals in the Blue and White Party are outraged at the idea that he could cancel the September 17 election.
"The news tonight makes it clear: Netanyahu is afraid of the public's judgment… There is no negotiation with Blue and White," said party head Benny Gantz.
Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu Party, whose irreconcilable differences with the Knesset's far right parties prevented Netanyahu from forming a government coalition, said the prime minister is afraid of losing the election on September 17.
"What is guiding Netanyahu tonight is not the good of the nation but the fear of losing power," he said.