Liberman TPS

Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Liberman welcomed the setting of early elections after the leaders of the coalition voted to dissolve the current Knesset.

Speaking at the start of the Yisrael Beiteinu weekly faction meeting on Monday, Liberman said: "I congratulate the heads of the coalition for the decision, and we have already said for a whole month that this is a government that is focused on its survival and not a functioning government.

He said that his party would condition its participation in the next coalition on the passage of the draft law in the same form as the law approved on first reading.

"We want to make sure that despite the rumor mill, there is no deal between the Likud and the haredi parties regarding the draft law," he said.

Earlier Monday, the faction leaders voted unanimously for early elections, which will be held on April 9th, 2019.

The decision was reached after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu convened party leaders from his narrow ruling coalition in a last-ditch effort to chart a path forward for a crucial haredi draft bill, aimed at preserving draft deferments for full-time yeshiva students, while imposing financial sanctions on yeshivas which fail to meet enlistment quotas.

The Coalition has faced the prospects of early elections since Liberman resigned as Defense Minister following the launching of about 500 rockets and mortars at southern Israel by Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza last month. The withdrawal of Yisrael Beiteinu left the coalition with a narrow majority of just 61 MKs.