Desertion hits Israel govt
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's governing coalition will survive the departure of the Kadima party but the premier has been weakened by the exit, Israeli observers said yesterday.
Netanyahu's "super-coalition" shrank on Tuesday, with the departure of the 28-seat Kadima, the parliament's largest faction, over the issue of national service for all Israelis.
Kadima's exit, which came just 70 days after its leader Shaul Mofaz took the party into a surprise coalition with Netanyahu, reduces the premier's hold from 94 to 66 MPs in the 120-seat Knesset, or parliament.
Environment Minister Gilad Erdan, who is close to Netanyahu, ruled out an early election following Kadima's departure. Elections are currently scheduled for October 2013.