Israeli defence minister Avigdor Lieberman on Wednesday announced his resignation and called for early elections after a sharp disagreement over a Gaza ceasefire deal, throwing the government into turmoil.
Lieberman also said his party was quitting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition, leaving the premier with only a one-seat majority in parliament.
Elections are only set for November 2019, however the resignation could change things.
“What happened yesterday — the truce combined with the process with Hamas — is capitulating to terror,” Lieberman told journalists in explaining his reasons for resigning.
“What we’re doing now as a state is buying short-term quiet, with the price being severe long-term damage to national security.”
He added later: “We should agree on a date for elections as early as possible.”
Netanyahu has defended Tuesday’s ceasefire deal that ended the worst escalation between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza since a 2014 war.
An official from Netanyahu’s Likud party responded to speculation that early elections would be called and said the prime minister would take charge of Lieberman’s portfolio at least temporarily.
There’s no obligation to go to an election in this time of security sensitivity,” the official said on condition of anonymity.