Jerusalem - Israeli lawmakers voted to dissolve parliament early on Thursday, paving the way for a new election after veteran Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a coalition government before a midnight deadline.
The ballot is widely expected to take place in September, the second this year. It represented unprecedented upheaval, commentators said, even in a country used to political infighting, and dealt a blow to Netanyahu, who had claimed victory in the last vote, held on April 9.
Parliament's 74-to-45 vote took place just minutes after a midnight deadline for Netanyahu to form a coalition.
He is set to become Israel's longest-serving prime minister in the summer.
The turmoil arose from a feud between Netanyahu's presumed allies - ex-defence minister Avigdor Lieberman, a far-right secularist, and ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties - over military conscription.