Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will take over the defense portfolio in his government after Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman resigned this week, a spokesman for his Likud Party said on Friday, fuelling speculation of an early election.
Earlier Netanyahu met with key coalition partner Naftali Bennett of the Jewish Home Party who had sought the post for himself, but the two men emerged without an agreement.

Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition government was rocked by Lieberman’s resignation on Wednesday in protest at a ceasefire reached between Israel and the Islamist group Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

After Bennett and Netanyahu’s meeting, a spokesman for the PM’s Likud Party said that for now Netanyahu would take over the defense portfolio himself.

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