Netanyahu faces key meeting amid Israel early polls call

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu is set to meet his finance minister on Sunday, in what is being seen as a last-ditch attempt to avert early elections.

Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu party is vital to the coalition’s survival.

The talks come ahead of the weekly cabinet meeting, and amid a political crisis triggered by the defence minister’s resignation on Wednesday.

Talks between the PM and another coalition rival to find a way forward ended without agreement on Friday.

Naftali Bennett has threatened to pull his party Habayit Hayehudi out of the government if he is not appointed the new minister of defence.

Former Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman quit in opposition to Israel’s decision to accept a ceasefire with militants in the Gaza Strip after three days of intense violence last week.

What has triggered this?

The withdrawal of Mr Lieberman and his Yisrael Beiteinu party left the coalition with just a one-seat majority in the knesset (parliament).

Image caption Naftali Bennett (left) and Mr Netanyahu are political rivals

Mr Bennett’s Habayit Hayehudi is the third-largest party in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition, and if he pulls out Mr Netanyahu…

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