WORLD Israeli PM fires ultra-nationalist cabinet minister rivals

WORLD

Israeli PM fires ultra-nationalist cabinet minister rivals

Xinhua

22:51, June 02, 2019

JERUSALEM, June 2 (Xinhua) -- Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired on Sunday his justice and education ministers, days after the parliament called for early elections.

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File photo: AP

A government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed to Xinhua that Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Education Minister Naftali Bennett, two pro-settler former allies of Netanyahu, were dismissed.

The move was widely reported in Israeli media but no official statement was issued by the Prime Minister's Office and no explanations were made.

Bennett and Shaked issued a joint statement, saying they "thank the Israeli public for the rare privilege we have had to serve as education and justice ministers."

They added: "All we did was for the good of the State of Israel and its citizens."

Last Wednesday, the Israeli parliament, or the Knesset, voted to hold early elections, less than two months after the previous elections. The move was promoted by Netanyahu's Likud party after he failed to form a governing coalition.

Shaked and Bennett, two hawkish and popular politicians, formed a new party before April's elections but failed to pass the electoral threshold. However, they remained in their offices in the interim government.

They did not say whether they will run also in the upcoming September's elections.

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