Israel to hold early election, in April: Netanyahu spokesman

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu smiles during the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem Dec 23, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

JERUSALEM (REUTERS) - Israel will hold a general election in April, a spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Twitter on Monday (Dec 24), after a meeting between members of his governing coalition.

"The leaders of the coalition decided unanimously to dissolve parliament and go to a new election in early April," the spokesman said, quoting from a statement issued by Netanyahu's political partners.

A coalition crisis over a military conscription bill affecting exemptions from compulsory service for ultra-Orthodox Jewish men led to the decision.

Netanyahu, now in his fourth term as prime minister, has been governing with a razor-thin majority of 61 seats in the 120-member parliament. He heads the right-wing Likud party.

Under Israeli law, a national election had to be held by November 2019.

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