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.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before voting in the Knesset, Israel's parliament in Jerusalem, Wednesday, May 29, 2019. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced a deadline at midnight Wednesday to form a new governing coalition as he tried to stave off a crisis that could trigger an unprecedented second election this year or even force the longtime leader to step down. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before voting in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament in Jerusalem, Wednesday, May 29, 2019. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced a deadline at midnight Wednesday to form a new governing coalition as he tried to stave off a crisis that could trigger an unprecedented second election this year or even force the longtime leader to step down. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

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.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before voting in the Knesset, Israel's parliament in Jerusalem, Wednesday, May 29, 2019. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced a deadline at midnight Wednesday to form a new governing coalition as he tried to stave off a crisis that could trigger an unprecedented second election this year or even force the longtime leader to step down. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before voting in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament in Jerusalem, Wednesday, May 29, 2019. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced a deadline at midnight Wednesday to form a new governing coalition as he tried to stave off a crisis that could trigger an unprecedented second election this year or even force the longtime leader to step down. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before voting in the Knesset, Israel's parliament in Jerusalem, Wednesday, May 29, 2019. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced a deadline at midnight Wednesday to form a new governing coalition as he tried to stave off a crisis that could trigger an unprecedented second election this year or even force the longtime leader to step down. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before voting in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament in Jerusalem, Wednesday, May 29, 2019. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced a deadline at midnight Wednesday to form a new governing coalition as he tried to stave off a crisis that could trigger an unprecedented second election this year or even force the longtime leader to step down. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
Israeli Ministers and Parliament Members in their chairs before voting in the Knesset, Israel's parliament in Jerusalem, Wednesday, May 29, 2019. Israel's parliament has voted to dissolve itself, sending the country to an unprecedented second snap election this year as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a governing coalition before a midnight deadline. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
Israeli Ministers and Parliament Members in their chairs before voting in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament in Jerusalem, Wednesday, May 29, 2019. Israel’s parliament has voted to dissolve itself, sending the country to an unprecedented second snap election this year as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a governing coalition before a midnight deadline. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leaves after voting in the Knesset, Israel's parliament in Jerusalem, Thursday, May 30, 2019. Israel's parliament has voted to dissolve itself, sending the country to an unprecedented second snap election this year as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a governing coalition before a midnight deadline. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leaves after voting in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament in Jerusalem, Thursday, May 30, 2019. Israel’s parliament has voted to dissolve itself, sending the country to an unprecedented second snap election this year as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a governing coalition before a midnight deadline. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to the media after voting in the Knesset, Israel's parliament in Jerusalem, Thursday, May 30, 2019. Israel's parliament has voted to dissolve itself, sending the country to an unprecedented second snap election this year as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a governing coalition before a midnight deadline. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to the media after voting in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament in Jerusalem, Thursday, May 30, 2019. Israel’s parliament has voted to dissolve itself, sending the country to an unprecedented second snap election this year as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a governing coalition before a midnight deadline. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to the media after voting in the Knesset, Israel's parliament in Jerusalem, Thursday, May 30, 2019. Israel's parliament has voted to dissolve itself, sending the country to an unprecedented second snap election this year as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a governing coalition before a midnight deadline. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to the media after voting in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament in Jerusalem, Thursday, May 30, 2019. Israel’s parliament has voted to dissolve itself, sending the country to an unprecedented second snap election this year as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a governing coalition before a midnight deadline. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)