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    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the official ceremony for Israel's Memorial Day for fallen soldiers, at the National Memorial Hall for Israel's Fallen, in Mt. Herzl Military Cemetery, Jerusalem, Wednesday, April 18, 2018.

    Israeli Parliament to Dissolve, Election to Take Place in April - PM's Spokesman

    © AP Photo/ DEBBIE HILL
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    The resignation of Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman and the withdrawal of his party from the governing coalition in mid-November left Netanyahu with just a one-seat majority in the Knesset.

    Israel will hold a general election on 9 April, a representative of Likud party told Sputnik, adding that the current Knesset convocation would be dissolved by that time. According to Prime Minister Netanyahu, the decision to diband the government was "unanimous".

    The announcement came after a meeting of members of the country's Likud-led ruling coalition. According to Haaretz, the coalition failed to agree on the new law on conscripting yeshiva students. Eearlier in the day, the Yesh Atid party refused to vote for the bill.

    Israeli Defence Minister Lieberman stepped down from his post on 14 November over Netanyahu's push for a ceasefire with Hamas militants, which wrapped up the latest uptick in violence across the Gaza border. Lieberman, who accused the PM of "surrendering to Hamas terror", also said that his Yisrael Beitenu (Israel Our Home) Party, which at the time held five seats in the 120-seat Knesset, would leave the coalition.

    Liberman's resignation has not deprived Netanyahu of a majority in parliament, but reduced the ruling coalition to 61 seats — leaving it with just a one-seat majority. Netanyahu's coalition now consists of his own Likud Party, and others, such as United Torah Judaism, Kulanu, and Shas.

    The prime minister has been involved in several corruption cases since the beginning of the year. Specifically, he and his wife are accused of promoting the interests of a major telecom company in exchange for favourable media coverage.

    Two other cases focus on Netanyahu's receipt of expensive gifts from businessmen estimated at $300,000, as well as his purported attempt to strike a deal with an Israeli publisher. According to reports, the deal would see the government impose restrictions on the firm's main competitor in exchange for favourable coverage of Tel Aviv's actions. 

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    coalition, parliament, election, Avigdor Lieberman, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel
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