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>> Israel's government has announced that the country will hold early national elections in April because the political coalition that props up Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears to be collapsing. So the coalition has decided to dissolve Parliament. It only held a fragile majority of a single seat in the first place.
The issue that broke the alliance is a longstanding debate in Israel over whether ultra orthodox Jewish men should continue to be exempt from the mandatory two year military service that other Israelis are subject to. Last year, Israel Supreme Court struck down the existing exemption saying that it was unconstitutional, and ordered Parliament to make a new law.
And that is where Netanyahu's coalition fractured. The Prime Minister supports keeping the exemption, but some allies do not. The decision to dissolve Parliament came after the coalition met on Monday over that split. Netanyahu's right wing party is expected to support him in the next election, but it's not clear who would run against him.
The most likely candidates are Yair Lapid, head of a centrist opposition party, and Benny Gantz, the center-left former army chief. The prime minister could also face opposition from other parties in his coalition.