Netanyahu calls early Israel election

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Netanyahu calls early Israel election

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The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called an early general election months ahead of schedule.

He says the poll will take place as soon as possible – that is likely to mean early next year.

The campaign is likely to focus on tensions with Iran over its nuclear programme and the Israeli economy.

Netanyahu has been locked in a dispute with coalition partners over budget matters. Smaller parties have opposed planned cuts and there have been large street protests over high living costs.

Opinion polls suggest the prime minister’s right-wing Likud party might easily win an early election.