Israel to hold early election in April

Israel to hold early election in April

JERUSALEM (AA): Israel will hold early election in April, a spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday.

“The leaders of the coalition decided unanimously to dissolve parliament and go to a new election in early April,” the spokesman said on Twitter.

The move came after a meeting between the heads of the Israeli coalition.

Israeli daily Haaretz said the new polls will be held on April 9.

The last Israeli general elections were held in May 2015, while the upcoming elections had been expected to be held in November.

Netanyahu, the head of the Likud party, has led the current coalition, which includes the right-wing parties of the Jewish House, Kulanu, Shas and United Torah Judaism.

Yisrael Beitenu, headed by Avigdor Lieberman, has recently withdrawn from the governing coalition.

The decision to call early elections came after a dispute over a compulsory military service bill as United Torah Judaism vowed to withdraw from the coalition if the Knesset voted in favor of the draft law.

Army service is mandatory for all Israeli citizens (three years for men and two years for women), with the exception of members of the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews account for roughly 10 percent of Israel’s total population. They tend to live in closed communities and adhere to strict interpretations of Jewish religious law.

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