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Israel set for early elections as Netanyahu's coalition dissolves Knesset

The leaders of Israel's coalition government decided on Monday to dissolve the Knesset and hold early electi...

Posted: Dec 25, 2018 10:57 AM
Updated: Dec 25, 2018 10:57 AM

The leaders of Israel's coalition government decided on Monday to dissolve the Knesset and hold early elections in April, nearly eight months earlier than required by law.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing coalition governs with a razor-thin majority, and has been struggling to pass a new bill that would extend the military draft to ultra-Orthodox Jewish students.

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At a press conference at the Knesset on Monday, Netanyahu confirmed "the heads of the coalition parties decided, in agreement and unanimously, to disperse the Knesset and call for new elections at the beginning of April."

The speaker of the Knesset, Yuli-Yoel Edelstein, announced the elections would be held on April 9.

Government battling difficulties

Netanyahu's government has been battling difficulties on several fronts. A military confrontation with Palestinian militants last month followed a botched Israeli operation in Gaza that killed one of its soldiers. Seven Palestinians, including a senior Hamas military commander, also died.

An eventual ceasefire prompted the resignation of the then defense minister, Avigdor Liberman, who denounced it as a "capitulation to terror."

The resignation of Liberman, the hardline leader of the right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party, left the government with 61 seats -- a majority of only one seat -- in the 120-seat Knesset

That narrow majority made it difficult to implement a ruling by Israel's High Court of Justice last September concerning a 2015 law that grants most yeshiva students exemption from conscription. The court ordered lawmakers to issue new guidelines for the enlistment of ultra-Orthodox Jews.

Netanyahu would need every member of his coalition to pass a controversial bill that extends the military draft to comply with the ruling. Ultra-Orthodox members of Netanyahu's coalition vehemently reject the bill, leading to a crisis within his government.

The political turbulence comes against the backdrop of criminal investigations that have hit Netanyahu and his inner circle. Israeli police say there is enough evidence to indict Netanyahu on charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust in three separate investigations. Netanyahu denies wrongdoing: "I believe nothing will come of it because there is nothing in it," he said earlier this month.

'Sigh of relief'

On Monday opposition member Shelly Yachimovich of the Zionist Union said news of an early election produced a "sigh of relief."

"It is impossible to continue with a government whose Prime Minister is under recommendation of indictments of the state attorneys and the police for fraud," Yachimovich said.

"We can't continue with the collapsing diplomatic position. We have a whole government that is held hostage to the personal needs of the Prime minister and can't operate in this way."

Netanyahu is currently in his fourth term as Prime Minister. A national election was required under Israeli law to be held by November 2019.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1560117

Reported Deaths: 20796
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion2118112563
Lake1021301523
Allen964791027
Hamilton75541551
St. Joseph66476761
Elkhart51045634
Vanderburgh50511531
Tippecanoe45721338
Johnson39600527
Hendricks37933463
Porter35132476
Madison30330547
Clark27296331
Vigo26401347
Monroe24100249
LaPorte23921313
Howard23237381
Delaware22453370
Hancock19314220
Bartholomew18980216
Kosciusko18400204
Warrick17733216
Wayne16982303
Floyd16686257
Grant15966300
Morgan15091232
Boone13924138
Dearborn12235113
Shelby12225152
Noble12170142
Henry12027202
Dubois11696152
Marshall11625171
Jackson11111104
Cass10578143
Lawrence10529221
Huntington10523140
DeKalb10482132
Gibson10114127
Montgomery9671144
Harrison9471117
Knox9415125
Whitley902571
Steuben8934105
Putnam8542100
Miami8533135
Clinton849397
Jasper8462116
Jefferson8319127
Wabash8027140
Ripley7504117
Scott685787
Adams6829103
Daviess6825130
White638184
Greene6317112
Clay628975
Decatur6261121
Jennings619781
Wells6090121
Fayette6054122
Posey580148
LaGrange549097
Randolph5364129
Washington528071
Owen5211100
Fountain493681
Spencer467456
Sullivan462066
Fulton450993
Orange449784
Starke448887
Rush433941
Jay432564
Perry409155
Carroll394749
Franklin394650
Vermillion370762
Pike334246
Parke331239
Tipton330475
Blackford282255
Pulaski281775
Brown239856
Newton239761
Benton228921
Crawford224932
Switzerland207914
Martin196722
Warren183922
Union178119
Ohio129216
Unassigned0763

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2515949

Reported Deaths: 31987
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin2719422100
Cuyahoga2606673087
Hamilton1758091756
Montgomery1177451651
Summit1089011418
Lucas935321193
Butler83907963
Stark771001431
Lorain64214809
Warren53428489
Mahoning51224930
Lake47591611
Clermont46928452
Delaware41107220
Trumbull39746790
Licking38790416
Medina38646427
Fairfield35828349
Greene34313435
Portage32429366
Clark32361453
Richland29653444
Wood29379301
Allen25875403
Miami24243408
Muskingum23564255
Columbiana23046409
Wayne22093365
Tuscarawas19637428
Marion18616235
Erie18608224
Ashtabula18569362
Scioto18159214
Ross17594260
Pickaway16419181
Hancock16115232
Geauga15511229
Lawrence15094186
Belmont14236248
Union1419584
Huron13908184
Jefferson13656261
Sandusky13268200
Athens12877107
Knox12160201
Seneca12055204
Darke11440202
Ashland11248184
Washington11152172
Auglaize10873147
Crawford10432178
Shelby10402160
Brown10094145
Highland9746151
Fulton9726154
Guernsey9683122
Defiance9567137
Logan9470147
Clinton9428132
Mercer9099112
Madison9032111
Preble8524170
Williams8305138
Putnam8069136
Champaign8040113
Ottawa7971123
Jackson7848121
Perry7514102
Coshocton7411136
Morrow729184
Fayette715992
Pike666689
Hardin6564133
Gallia638891
Adams6227127
Van Wert6065121
Henry602596
Hocking5918105
Wyandot503594
Carroll5009101
Holmes4880167
Paulding426465
Meigs400974
Monroe316468
Harrison299162
Noble296952
Morgan292748
Vinton258646
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