Israel’s Netanyahu to give statement amid signs of early election


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks as he attends a state memorial ceremony for former Prime Minister Golda Meir at Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem November 18, 2018. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will make a televised statement on Sunday after making a last-ditch effort to avoid the collapse of a coalition government weakened by the resignation of his defense minister.

Netanyahu, head of the right-wing Likud party, has met over the past few days with coalition partners who have been calling for an early election. Political pundits predict a snap vote could come as early as March, instead of November as scheduled.

Netanyahu’s office said he would make a statement to reporters at 8 p.m. (1800 GMT), giving no details.

Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

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