06:20 GMT16 January 2021
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    The reports about early general elections started to occur days after Avigdor Lieberman left his position as the country's defence minister in the wake of a controversial cease-fire with Gaza militants. His Yisrael Beytenu party then left the country's ruling coalition, thus leaving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a fragile majority.

    The meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Education Minister Naftali Bennett earlier in the day resulted in the decision to hold early general elections in Israel, Haaretz reports, citing sources close to Bennett.

    However, shortly after Netanyahu's office issued a statement refuting reports about the election, warning of the repetition 1992, when a right-wing party left the coalition, the Labour party won the subsequent election, and then-prime minister Yitzhak Rabin signed the Oslo Accords.

    Meanwhile, the Jerusalem Post specified that the date of the election would be agreed upon on Sunday by the heads of the coalition's parties.

    The shaky situation in the country's parliament started after the resignation of Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman, which he announced the day after Israel declared a ceasefire with militants in the Gaza Strip, which he strongly opposed.

    READ MORE: Israeli Immigration Minister Resigns Soon After Lieberman — Party Spokesperson

    The same day, Bennett, the Bayit Yehudi party's chairman, proclaimed that if he would not be appointed defence minister in place of Lieberman, his party would follow in the footsteps of Lieberman's Yisrael Beytenu party and leave the coalition. However, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon objected to the idea of Bennett becoming the defence minister, calling for early elections. 

    Under Israeli law, early elections may be held 90 days after the dissolution of the government. Hence, the vote could take place between March and May.

    READ MORE: Lieberman Resignation is Failure in Fight Against Palestinian Resistance — Hamas

    general elections, Avigdor Liberman, Naftali Bennett, Israel
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