The Israeli parliament has begun the process of voting to dissolve the chamber and pave the way to a third election within a year.
The parliament passed a preliminary measure to dissolve itself before a midnight deadline.
If three more votes pass, elections will be called for March 2.
After September elections, prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his chief challenger Benny Gantz failed to form a governing coalition on their own.
Then, in a final three-week window, they could not join forces to avoid another vote.
Both sides said they are working until the last minute to find some way out of the deadlock, but a breakthrough seems unlikely.