Israel to hold early elections

Jerusalem: Israel will hold early elections, it was announced here on Friday after a meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Education Minister Naftali Bennett.

Reports said that the heads of the Israeli coalition will agree on a date to hold elections, Xinhua news agency reported.

The meeting between Netanyahu and Bennett, who is the head of the far-right Habayit Hayehudi party (Jewish Home), was held amid the government’s calls to avoid snap elections.

The decision came after Netanyahu rejected Bennett’s demand to be made Defence Minister at the meeting, the report said.

Pressures were mounting on Netanyahu to call for early elections amid turmoil sparked by Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s resignation following an agreed ceasefire with Gaza.

On Thursday, leaders of some of the key coalition partners said Netanyahu should dissolve the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament, and call for early elections.