The Latest on Israel’s political crisis (all times local):

11:55 p.m.

Israel’s parliament has approved a preliminary vote to dissolve itself, taking another step toward early elections.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu walks 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 walks 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)

With Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unable to form a coalition by a midnight deadline, parliament approved the motion late Wednesday 74 to 45.

It was the second of three required votes to pass the motion. The final vote was scheduled early Thursday.

Final approval would schedule a new election in September.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, listens to Cabinet Secretary Tzachi Braverman during the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem, Sunday, May 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit, Pool)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, listens to Cabinet Secretary Tzachi Braverman during the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister’s office in Jerusalem, Sunday, May 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit, Pool)

Netanyahu appeared to cruise to victory in April 9 elections. But during six weeks of negotiations, he was unable to muster support to win a parliamentary majority.

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10:15 p.m.

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)
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)

Israel’s raucous political world is on edge, counting down to a midnight deadline to see whether a new government will be formed or whether there will be an unpresented second election of the year.

Backchannel negotiations are continuing to try and find a compromise that will allow Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu faction to join Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition.

Without him, Netanyahu has no parliamentary majority and won’t be able to form a government.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem, Sunday, May 19, 2019 (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit, Pool)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister’s office in Jerusalem, Sunday, May 19, 2019 (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit, Pool)

Netanyahu and Lieberman are engaged in a high-stakes showdown and neither side appears ready to blink.

The crisis ostensibly revolves around Lieberman’s demand that current legislation mandating young ultra-Orthodox men be drafted into the military, like most other Jewish males, run its course. Netanyahu, dependent on the resistant ultra-Orthodox parties, is refusing to press them.

FILE - In this May 23, 2016 file photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman sit in the Knesset, Israel's parliament, 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/Sebastian Scheiner, File)
FILE – In this May 23, 2016 file photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman sit in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, 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/Sebastian Scheiner, File)

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