Israel’s Cabinet approves Jan. 22 election date


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Cabinet officially set Jan. 22 as the date for national elections for the 19th Knesset.

The date unanimously approved by the Cabinet on Sunday likely will be approved by the full Knesset on Monday, when it is set to meet for the first day of the winter session and dissolve itself.

The elections for the 19th Knesset had been scheduled originally for October 2013. The new poll will take place four years since the last election.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had announced last week, after consulting with his coalition partners, that the country would go to early elections, saying that it was impossible to pass the 2013 budget without first holding elections.

Also Sunday, Avi Dichter, who resigned in August from the Knesset and the opposition Kadima Party in order to become homefront defense minister, said he would join the Likud Party and run for a position on its list in the upcoming primaries.

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