Report: Netanyahu Tells Allies He May Face Early Elections

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the opening of an exhibition showcasing the 1976 Israeli commando rescue raid that freed hostages from a hijacked plane at Entebbe, Uganda, as he attends the event at the Yitzhak Rabin Center in Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, July 9, 2015. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty)
AP /Dan Balilty

The Times of Israel reports: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly told ministers in his coalition that he will not be able to appoint Education Minister Naftali Bennett of the Jewish Home party to the defense minister post because of opposition to the move from other coalition partners, a development which likely puts Israel on course for early elections.

According to Channel 10 news, Netanyahu told ministers during meetings throughout the day that the main stumbling bloc to keeping the coalition together was the ultimatum from the national-religious Jewish Home party that its leader Bennett be given the newly vacated defense ministry, or it will topple the government.

According to reports on Channel 10 and Hadashot news, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, who already called for elections in the wake of the sudden resignation this week of Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, is vetoing Bennett’s appointment. Neither report cited sources from the closed-door meetings.

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