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End of era? ‘Bleak’ for Netanyahu as Israel’s embattled PM face snap elections

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RT - Russia Today

End of Bibi’s era? ‘Bleak’ prospects for Netanyahu as Israel’s embattled PM faces snap elections

'Benjamin Netanyahu will struggle to secure a majority in September’s snap elections, analysts told RT, predicting that the Israeli prime minister faces formidable political and legal hurdles if he hopes to keep his job.

Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, voted to dissolve late Wednesday night after Netanyahu failed to form a coalition before the midnight deadline. The sizable political hiccup marks the first time in Israel’s history that the presumed prime minister has failed to form a government. Less than two months after Netanyahu declared victory in April’s elections, Israeli voters will return to the polls on September 17. While Netanyahu has proven himself to be a resilient politician, the veteran politician will have to overcome a looming indictment, as well as a crumbling alliance with right-wing and religious parties, if he hopes to remain in power.

Netanyahu’s problems began immediately after April’s elections. Despite claiming victory, his Likud party was only able to secure 35 seats in the Knesset, requiring him to form a coalition to secure a majority in the 120-seat legislature. The fate of the new government depended on the support of the small, ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beitenu party, but the group’s leader, former Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, broke ranks with Netanyahu over military draft exemptions for Orthodox Jews. Lieberman resigned as defense minister in November after Netanyahu’s cabinet agreed to a ceasefire that ended two days of fighting with Palestinian militants in Gaza.'

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