Israel holds early parliamentary elections for the 19th Knesset, after the country's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dissolved the parliament on October 9, 2012.
The dissolution came after the popular leader was unable to agree on the budget for 2013 with his coalition partners. In particular, small religious parties allegedly refused to agree on cuts to the country's welfare program and government benefits.
"At this time, in the face of the turmoil around us, it is my obligation as prime minister to put the national interest above all," Netanyahu commented on the move. "Therefore I have decided for the benefit of Israel to hold elections now and as quickly as possible."
The election was originally scheduled for October 22, 2013, after the Knesset narrowly avoided dissolution over the unpopular Tal Law that exempts ultra-Orthodox Jews engaged in religious studies from military service.
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