Israel heading for early elections after turbulent week for Netanyahu

Elias Hubbard
November 17, 2018

Bennett had threatened to quit the government if he wasn't given the defense portfolio after the resignation of former Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Wednesday, but Netanyahu rejected Bennett's demands.

In Israel, the government is trying to remain in power after a turbulent week.

"Prime Minister Netanyahu will continue to talk with coalition leaders on Sunday so that they will not make a historic mistake of toppling a right-wing government", said a spokesman for Mr Netanyahu's Likud party.

The tense meeting ended with a decision by cabinet members to hold national elections "as soon as possible, with no possibility of continuing the current government", a source told CNN.

Hundreds of residents of Israel's Gaza Belt towns protested the ceasefire agreement outside of IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv, blocking roads and holding up signs that read "we are not second class citizens".

"There's no obligation to go to an election in this time of security sensitivity", the official said on condition of anonymity.

Representatives from Netanyahu's office said he would try to preserve his administration, but it looked unlikely after he lost Bennett's support.

Before the crisis Netanyahu's coalition had 66 seats in the 120-seat parliament.

The protests took place as Netanyahu met with Gaza Belt municipal authority heads in order to clarify his position following the public criticism directed at Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi, who earlier on Thursday said that rockets fired at the Gaza Belt are not just cause for a full-scale military operation in Gaza.

The government must choose an election date within three to five months.

According to the Palestinian health ministry, 40 people were injured and no fatalities were reported as thousands marched near the border fence with Israel.

Many believe Netanyahu will not do well in the coming election, especially since a number of Israelis believe he capitulated to terrorists by agreeing to a ceasefire with Hamas.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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