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Israel prepares early elections as the coalition decides to dissolve Knesset

The right-wing coalition of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fought for the government with a sheer majority. At a press conference in the Knesset on Monday, Netanyahu confirmed that "the heads of the coalition parties had unanimously and unanimously decided to disperse the Knesset and to call for new elections in early April."

Speaker of Knesset Yuli-Yoel Gemstone will convene the leaders of all factions to set an exact date.

The Netanyahu government struggles on several fronts. A military confrontation with Palestinian militants last month followed a botched Israeli operation in Gaza that killed one of his soldiers. Seven Palestinians, including a Hamas commander-in-chief, died.

A possible truce led to the resignation of then Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, who described him as a "capitulation to terror". The Israeli police say there. 39; s enough evidence to prosecute Benjamin Netanyahu in a third case of corruption "src-mini =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/1

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The resignation of Liberman, the hardline leader of the Israel Party's right wing party, left the government at age 61 Sitting – a majority of just one seat – in the Knesset with 120 seats.

Political turmoil occurs against the background of criminal investigations that have hit Netanyahu and his inner circle. The Israeli police say they have enough evidence to prosecute Netanyahu for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in two separate investigations. Netanyahu denies misconduct: "I do not think anything will come of it because there's nothing in it," he said earlier this month.

On Monday, opposition member Shelly Yachimovich of the Zionist union said the news of an early election triggered a "sighing relief. "

" It is impossible to continue with a government whose prime minister has recommended the prosecution and police charges for fraud, "Yachimovich said.

" We can not continue the collapse of diplomacy is held hostage to the personal needs of the Prime Minister and can not operate in this way.

Netanyahu is currently in his fourth term as Prime Minister, and under Israeli law a national election had to be held in November 2019.

Michael Schwartz reported from Jerusalem Bianca Britton wrote from London

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