FILE – In this Oct. 25, 2012 file photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, and former Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman shake hands in front of the media after giving a statement in Jerusalem. Netanyahu is facing the possibility of having to fight a second election this year, as he struggles to form a coalition government. With a looming deadline, Israel’s newly elected parliament began drafting a bill on Monday to dissolve itself. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue, File)

JERUSALEM – Israel's parliament has passed the first of three motions required for the chamber to dissolve itself as the country appears headed toward another snap election.

The measure passed on Tuesday with a 66-44 majority, and a tentative election date was set for Sept. 17.

Last month's election seemed to have promised Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu another fresh mandate to rule. But a shocking crisis with his longtime ally and erstwhile rival Avigdor Lieberman thrust the country into an unprecedented political impasse.

Netanyahu has until late Wednesday to present a coalition government or else Israel's largely ceremonial president can task someone else with the job. Netanyahu has no intention of letting that happen and would prefer another election instead.

If no compromise is found, Israel will likely go to elections again.

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