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Israel to hold snap election in March

December 3, 2014

Israel will hold early elections in March. It comes amid a crisis within the Netanyahu government, with the prime minister sacking two ministers he accused of disloyalty.

Israel Regierungskrise Netanjahu PK 02.12.2014
Image: Reuters/G. Tibbon

The Israeli parliament spokesman confirmed on Wednesday that snap elections will be held on March 17, 2015.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for early elections a day earlier, after strains from within his Cabinet forced him to fire two key ministers.

Netanyahu accused former Finance Minister Yair Lapid and former Justice Minister Tzipi Livni of plotting to overthrow him and working from within against the government's policies. Lapid and Tzipi Livni have both opposed recent proposals from Netanyahu on the budget and on defining Israel as a Jewish state.

Netanyahu said he was no longer able to lead his mostly right-wing coalition, two years after it took office.

"In the current situation, the current government, it is impossible to lead the country," he said on Tuesday.

The 19 Knesset seats held by Lapid's Yesh Atid party make it the largest partner in the prime minister's fragile ruling coalition. Livni's Movement has six seats and made peace with Palestinians a central 2013 campaign issue - the only party to do so.

jr/ksb (dpa, AFP)