Israel to hold early election in April

Israel to hold early election in April

Netanyahu is however not required to step down if indicted - only if he is convicted with all appeals exhausted - and polls have indicated his Likud party would remain the largest in parliament after new elections.

"Erdogan, the occupier of northern Cyprus, whose army massacres women and children in Kurdish villages, inside Turkey and outside it - will not lecture Israel on morality", said Netanyahu, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Mr Netanyahu, now in his fourth term as prime minister, has been governing with a razor-thin majority of 61 seats in the 120-member parliament. Netanyahu, however, managed to keep his government going for a month after the publicity generated by the resignation had died down, thereby severing the causal connection between Liberman's move, his fury at the transfer of millions of dollars to Hamas and the restraint shown towards its regime in Gaza - and the start of an election campaign.

In in end the heads of the coalition parties couldn't agree and made a decision to dissolve Parliament, issuing a statement saying it was done "out of national and budgetary responsibility".

The Knesset, or parliament, is expected to hold a vote on Wednesday to formally dissolve, setting the stage for a three-month election campaign and a likely vote on April 9.

Some analysts believe he would be better positioned to face potential charges with a fresh electoral mandate.

The decision comes with the coalition struggling to agree on a key bill related to ultra-Orthodox Jews serving in the military like their secular counterparts.

The current government's term was set to end in November, more than half a year after the the early elections.

The justice ministry announced Monday that deliberations were continuing and were "not dependent on political events".

The alleged deal, which involves Netanyahu's wife, allowed the prime minister to demand glowing coverage from a major Israeli news site owned by Elovitz. "You can not overturn the results of a democratic election". He wants to turn around to the attorney general and say 'before you decide to prosecute me pay attention.

The likelihood of an early election increased in November after Netanyahu's defence minister, Avigdor Lieberman, quit the government, leaving the ruling coalition with its one-seat majority. Earlier Monday, Yair Lapid of the opposition Yesh Atid party announced he was rescinding his support for the bill, calling the coalition's hoped-for compromise a payoff to draft dodgers.

Last week, during the "Globes" Israel Business Conference, the prime minister learned that the State Attorney had finished working on the files of the investigations into his affairs, and that 800 pages summarizing the investigation materials had been sent to Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit.

Israel's former army chief, Benny Gantz, is seen as a dovish potential candidate who could tip the balance in favour of a centre-left bloc, but has not yet thrown his hat in the ring.

Mr Netanyahu first led Israel from 1996 to 1999, and returned in 2009.

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