Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has recently held discussions with the leaders of some of the factions of the coalition and discussed with them the possibility of holding the elections in the coming months, Channel 2 News reported on Friday.
According to the reports, Netanyahu is seeking to hold the elections next September or October, though officials told Channel 2 that they will take place even earlier.
The report added that when the Knesset convenes for its next session, the Meretz faction will submit a call for early elections. About a week or two weeks later, Labor chairwoman Shelly Yechimovich is scheduled to submit a similar proposal. Political officials told Channel 2 that Labor’s proposal was coordinated in advance with none other than Netanyahu himself. Yechimovich, however, has denied any coordination with Netanyahu on the issue.
In a separate report in Ma’ariv on Friday, Yechimovich, who recently indicated she intends to run for the position of Prime Minister, was quoted as having said that “after three years of Netanyahu's government, Israel has reached unprecedented gaps between poverty and wealth.”
Yechimovich added that the current government has brought about “galloping erosion in the situation of the middle class” and “an international record for employment of contract workers.”
“This is a government that is systematically destroying the values of solidarity and mutual responsibility,” she said, according to Ma’ariv. “The Bank of Israel's difficult report accurately presented the situation in which the state and the government retreated from taking responsibility for the lives of its citizens. Add to these the political deadlock and unprecedented international isolation.”
Yechimovich added, “The bill to dissolve the Knesset that we will bring to a vote, unlike in the past, is not a statement but a proposal that we believe will pass during the upcoming Knesset session.”
Recent polls have shown that Netanyahu is expected to retain his popularity and even increase it.
Most of the seats Kadima will lose will likely be divided between Netanyahu’s Likud, Labor, and a yet-to-be formed party headed by former journalist Yair Lapid.
While the Likud party would still win the election with 32 seats, the poll found that Yechimovich’s party would grow to 15 seats.
Historically in Israel, the rivalry for the premiership was between the Labor party and Likud. This changed when Kadima was founded in 2005, when then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon defected from Likud to carry out a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from Gaza. The move resulted in three large parties vying for votes.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)