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Israel: Knesset speaker resigns

On Wednesday, Knesset Speaker Yuli Adelstein submitted his resignation hours before the deadline set by the Supreme Court to hold parliamentary elections that would determine his successor.

“I announce my resignation from my position as the Knesset speaker,” announced Adelstein, who is one of the leaders of the Likud party led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a speech at the Knesset Hall.

Adelstein attacked the Israeli Supreme Court, claiming that its decision: “Constitutes a blatant and rude interference in the affairs of the elected legislative authority, ruins the work of the Knesset and violates its sovereignty in an unprecedented manner, in addition to undermining the foundations of Israeli democracy.”

He added: “I think the Supreme Court’s decision is wrong and dangerous.”

Adelstein continued: “Our people need unity and a unity government these days.”

Earlier, Adelstein rejected the request of the Israeli opposition to schedule a parliamentary session to elect a new speaker of the Knesset.

The opposition resorted to the Supreme Court, issuing a decision compelling Adelstein to hold the elections no later than Wednesday. However, Adelstein submitted his resignation before the end of the court’s deadline.

The opposition has 61 out of 120 seats in the Knesset, which enables it to choose a new speaker of the Knesset from outside of the Likud party, which has dominated parliament for years.