Israeli parliament dissolves itself, sets election - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Israeli parliament dissolves itself, sets election

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 Israeli lawmakers have overwhelmingly voted to dissolve parliament, officially kicking off the country's election campaign.

   Monday's vote in the 120-seat Knesset passed 93-0 in favor of disbanding, ending its term two years ahead of schedule.

   Early polls show Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu likely returning to power. But a growing coalition of anti-Netanyahu factions threatens to depose the longtime leader.

   Israel's government, which took office in early 2013, has been riven by divisions from the outset over issues facing the country. For weeks it has been bickering over a budget, a housing tax break and a bill that would enshrine into law Israel's status as a Jewish state.

   With early elections set for March 17, the current parliament will have served for one of the shortest periods in Israeli history.

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