Liberman to Netanyahu: No need to initiate early elections

VIDEO: PM Addresses The Knesset During Effort By Opposition To Push A Bill To Dissolve The Coalition

Coalition sources said Tuesday evening that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been ready to collapse his government and call early elections, but backed down when his own party told him they wouldn't support the move.

On Monday, Netanyahu called for solidarity in the coalition, telling all partners, "chiefly among them Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, to remain in the government and continue this partnership to ensure security, prosperity and stability for the state of Israel". Likud and UTJ's new bill passed the Ministerial Committee for Legislation but now faces a major roadblock in the form of Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

The crisis within Netanyahu's right-wing coalition follows speculation over whether the premier wants early polls to bolster his political standing ahead of his possible indictment for bribery in the coming months.

If new elections are called, however, Bennett vowed to back Netanyahu for the premiership, and predicted his Jewish Home party would be the "dominant" coalition partner in the next government.

"Today we have discovered who is really afraid of elections", he said.

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Should Lieberman and his party quit, Netanyahu's coalition could in theory continue with a one-seat majority in parliament.

Coalition chiefs on Tuesday evening hailed the compromise deal achieved at the last minute which seems to have solved a coalition crisis that had nearly dismantled the government, with Netanyahu taking credit for the agreement.

A number of votes must occur before the end of the week to greatly lessen the chances of early elections.

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, in turn, said he will pull his party (Kulanu) from the coalition if the budget fails to pass this week.

Under Tuesday's compromise, the five-seat secular nationalist Yisrael Beitenu party, which opposed the bill, will be allowed to vote against it.

CRPF jawans killed in mine blast in Sukma Naxal attack
Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the incident was "deeply distressing" and asked CRPF Director General R.R. Bhatnagar to rush to Chhattisgarh . "To those who have been injured, I wish a speedy recovery", he added.

"Many countries in the West Asia are saying that they are also allowed to enrich uranium if Iran is allowed to do so; therefore, the way to prevent this danger, the nuclearisation of the West Asia, is to either thoroughly correct the agreement or abrogate it", he said.

Some Israeli political commentators accuse Lieberman and Netanyahu of working together to preserve the option of fresh polls for the prime minister. They gave the Knesset a year to revamp the law on Haredi conscription.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opened up about spending part of his childhood in America during an in-depth interview with LevinTV host Mark Levin on his new Fox News program, "Life, Liberty & Levin".

Netanyahu's opponents have been calling on him to resign since police recommended February 13 that he be indicted on bribery and fraud charges in two influence-peddling cases; police are still investigating a third case in which several former close aides have agreed to testify against him.

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