Hamas abides by cease-fire, restrains protests

Mr Netanyahu's coalition allies called for early elections

Mr Netanyahu's coalition allies called for early elections Credit ODED BALILTY AFP Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party denied Friday that he had chose to call a snap election, as he battled to keep the government afloat after his defence minister quit over a Gaza ceasefire.

Hundreds of Israelis demonstrated in Tel Aviv on Thursday to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a cease-fire deal with Gaza-based Palestinian factions.

Israeli media reported that Netanyhu would attempt to preserve the administration but that looked unlikely after he lost support from Bennett's party, with few seats to hold a majority in the country's parliament.

Netanyahu held crunch talks on Friday with his other main right-wing rival, Education Minister Naftali Bennett, whose religious nationalist Jewish Home party has threatened also to quit unless he is given Lieberman's job.

Netanyahu said in his statement after the meeting that he had told Bennett of his intention to keep the defense portfolio "in the light of the critical challenges now facing the State of Israel".

Netanyahu's troubles began Wednesday when Liberman, his hardline Defense Minister, announced his resignation.

Likewise, he called the funding transferred last week to Gaza by Qatar - agreed to by Egypt, the United Nations, the United States and Israel - "purely $15 million of terror funding", warning that the oversight mechanism that is supposed to be place to ensure the money is used for civil service salaries, "is a sham".

Newlyweds Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh arrive at Mumbai airport
The couple will now host a grand reception in Mumbai on December 28 and it will be attended by nearly the entire film fraternity. Famed Indian designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee uploaded the picture on Instagram where the bride and groom are clad in his creations.

Leader of the Meretz party MK Tamar Zandberg attends during a joint Knesset and Constitution Committee meeting at the Knesset, July 10, 2018.

On Thursday morning, Kahlon, the Finance Minister, met with Netanyahu and said it was time to call early elections.

Kahlon said that it is impossible to stabilize the government in the present situation, and "therefore the most responsible move is to establish a new, strong and stable government", according to a statement issued on Kahlon's behalf.

The criminal investigations have barely damaged the Prime Minister's standing in the polls or his popularity.

Likud would receive 29 seats, with opposition party Yesh Atid coming in second with 18 seats.

What they're saying: Just like Liberman, Bennett's party wants a harder stance against Hamas and will now likely call for early elections.

"Under [the Israeli government's] current policy, not only [Hamas chief Ismail] Haniyeh, but all Hamas leaders, remain safe and sound", he added.

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