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Israel Netanyahu to pronounce on signs of early elections

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu will send a statement on Sunday after making a deepening effort to…

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu will send a statement on Sunday after making a deepening effort to avoid a coalition government collapse that weakened by his defense minister resigned.

PHOTO: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends an annual memorial ceremony for Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben Gurion at his burial ground in Sde Boker, Israel, November 1

4, 2018. REUTERS / Ronen Zvulun / Filfoto

Netanyahu, Head of Right Likud- The party has met the last few days with coalition partners, some of whom have demanded an early election. Political pundits predict a snap voice could come as soon as March, instead of November as planned.

Netanyahu office said he would make a statement to reporters at 8 o’clock (1800 GMT), giving no details.

The remarks will follow a meeting between Netanyahu and his finance minister, Moshe Kahlon in the center-right Kulanu Party, which has called for an early election date.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s resignation announced Wednesday what he described as the government’s light policy against an increase of cross-border violence with Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, leaving the government with a majority of only one seat in parliament.

What rages the fate of Netanyahu coalition in favor of its partners, who have seen the celebrity prime minister’s popularity, makes a rare encounter in an opinion poll showing Israelis unhappy about Gaza.

Netanyahu described his planned meeting with Kahlon as “one last attempt to prevent the collapse of the government”.

Addressed his cabinet on Sunday, he said it would be “unnecessary and wrong to go to a choice during this sensitive period of our security”.


Kahlon told Hadashot TV news on Saturday that it was impossible to drive a coalition with control over only 61 of Parliament’s 120 seats.

The Kahlon was called echoed by members of the nationalist Jewish home, whose head, Naphtali Bennett, was asked to succeed Lieberman as a defender, but was depicted by Netanyahu on Friday.

On Sunday, Israeli media reports said Netanyahu was now ready to offer Bennett the post in an attempt to keep Jewish homes in the coalition.

Such a move, as the unconfirmed reports said, would also be intended to force Kahlon to consider the risks of its own party, which also dominates nationalist voters, to be portrayed as the most important factor behind the collapse of a right-wing rule.

A vote published on Wednesday by Hadashot showed that Likud falls to 29 out of 30 parliamentary seats after months of voting that has proved its power.

Only 17 percent of respondents were satisfied with Netanyahu’s policy against Gaza, where he agreed on a violent fire – as Lieberman called “abandoned” – after militants from their ruling Hamas group launched nearly 500 rockets in Israel on Monday and Tuesday and Israel carried out dozens of air reports.

Netanyahu’s redeployment options can also be affected by a series of corruption cases against him, where Israel’s lawyer weighs his prosecution.

A choice would complicate the United States promised moves to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts that collapsed in 2014. The Trump Administration has said it would soon reveal a peace plan.

Further Reporting by Maayan Lubell; Editing Andrew Heavens and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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