Ministers dismissed as PM seeks fresh election
Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has dismissed his Minister of Finance, Yair Lapid, and His Minister of Justice, Tzipi Livni, after they had been openly critical of government policy. The statement from the Prime Minister’s office was short and read “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed Cabinet Secretary Avichai Mendelblit to issue letters of dismissal to Ministers Yair Lapid and Tzipi Livni”.
Both Ministers have been critical of a Bill which defines the Jewishness of Israel, an act which is seen as inflaming already tense relations with the Palestinians. Both Ministers have also fallen out with the Prime Minister over the economic direction of Israel’s increasingly fragile economy.
Yair Lapid is the leader of the centrist and secular Yesh Atid party whilst Tzipi Livni is leader of the centre-left and secular pro-peace Hatnuah party. Both parties were part of the coalition forged after the January 2013 general election.
The Prime Minister has also indicated that he intends to start the process to dissolve the Knesset (parliament) today and to move to a fresh general election two years ahead of its scheduled date in 2017.