Political sources increasingly believe that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will call for early elections within the next two weeks.
Netanyahu met with Minister of Finance Yuval Steinitz this morning to discuss the state budget, but those close to the PM believe that Netanyahu's decision to hold early elections has already been made, and that he will wait until after the elections, expected for February or March of next year, to pass the 2013 budget.
Sources speculate that since this decision has already been made, any meetings to discuss the budget or efforts to reach an agreement with party members is just a charade, as Netanyahu is trying to delay his announcement for early elections in order to give his political rivals less time to prepare.
Sources believe Netanyahu's reasons for early elections are twofold. Firstly, there are rumors that Ehud Olmert will try to make a return to the political scene and if early elections are held, it might not be enough time for Olmert to make a comeback. Olmert has been tried on charges of corruption and although cleared from most of the charges, there are still charges pending.
Also, the possible reelection of President Barack Obama might hurt Netanyahu's image in the long run. Though Netanyahu has not pledged his support for either candidate, the left-leaning mainstream media increasingly speculate that Netanyahu would like to see Romney win the elections. If Obama does win, he might have bitter feelings towards Netanyahu and react accordingly, causing trouble for the Prime Minister.