Israel’s divided government was in tatters Tuesday as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired two rebellious cabinet ministers and called for a new election more than two years ahead of schedule. In a nationally televised address, the prime minister said he had sacked Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who head separate centrist parties. They had become two of his fiercest critics. Netanyahu accused the two of attempting a “putsch,” and said he “will no longer tolerate opposition from within the government.” A new election, expected to be held early next year, means a bitter campaign for the nation, and comes at a time when relations between Palestinians and Israelis are at their lowest ebb, and amid deepening despair over the prospects for peace.
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