Israel Holding Early Elections As Bribery Allegations Engulf Netanyahu

Israel to hold early election in April

Israel will hold early elections as parliament prepares to dissolve

Netanyahu and other coalition leaders opted Monday to hold a general election in April 2019 - an election that was originally set for November 2019.

In a meeting of the Likud party faction following the announcement, Netanyahu said, "We agreed to submit a bill to dissolve the Knesset and go to elections in early April", adding that, "the government will complete four years in office with tremendous achievements".

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, struggling to keep his majority together and fighting off corruption allegations, has chose to dramatically shorten the timetable for his country's elections.

"If we all act properly, on April 10 we will part with Netanyahu", he said on Hahadashot TV. Rumored to be publicized early next year, it will now likely be shelved until after the Israeli election.

Channel 10 reported last week that the state prosecutor's office believes there's enough evidence to indict Netanyahu in at least one of the three corruption cases in which police have recommended he be charged.

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Reuven Hazan, a political scientist at Israel's Hebrew University, said the campaign would be dominated by "a discussion of whether Netanyahu should stay after, if he is prosecuted". Netanyahu, however, managed to keep his government going for a month after the publicity generated by the resignation had died down, thereby severing the causal connection between Liberman's move, his fury at the transfer of millions of dollars to Hamas and the restraint shown towards its regime in Gaza - and the start of an election campaign.

The Hareidi Draft Law, as it is called would impose financial sanctions on religious learning institutions which failed to meet enlistment quotas, while simultaneously enabling those who have already selected to defer their military to service to extend their deferments.

"He wants to win".

It is as yet unclear whether Mandelblit will still stick to his original schedule.

Standing in Netanyahu's way is an array of centrist and left-wing opposition parties.

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"Erdogan, the occupier of northern Cyprus, whose army massacres women and children in Kurdish villages, inside Turkey and outside it - will not lecture Israel on morality", said Netanyahu, according to the Jerusalem Post. Yet Livni's efforts to put together a center-left bloc of parties to run on a united list against Netanyahu likely will not come to pass.

No one in Likud has made a public challenge against the Prime Minister, and the party is expected to close ranks around him in the coming election.

One wild card is Benny Gantz, a popular former military chief who is flirting with the idea of entering politics.

Reports have suggested US forces will leave within 60 to 100 days.

In a tweet on Sunday, Cavusoglu lso labeled Netanyahu "a cold-blooded killer of modern times" and held him "responsible for massacres of thousands of innocent Palestinians". As the opposition source put it, "It's incredible to me that after Trump and Brexit, everyone is sure 100 percent that he will win again".

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