Israel could be heading to early elections after the Prime Minister said it was impossible for the current political situation to continue.
Benjamin Netanyanhu told ministers that his Government had been made unstable as tensions over the “Jewish state” bill threaten to undermine his leadership.
Issuing what appeared to be a thinly-veiled threat to dissolve the Government, he said that the “important missions” ahead could only be carried out with stability and sound management, the Times of Israel reported.
“Unfortunately, this is not what’s happening,” he added. “Lately, almost not a day goes by without diktats, or threats, or threats to resign or ultimatums of all sorts.
“I hope that we can restore sound management [of state affairs]. It is what the public expects of us. Only in this way, can we run the state. And if not, we’ll draw the necessary conclusions.”
Israeli media are predicting elections will be called for March after a highly anticipated meeting between Mr Netanyahu and a key coalition partner failed to iron out their differences on Monday.
The meeting with Yesh Atid's leader, Yair Lapid, followed weeks of debate over budget provisions including a planned increase for defence, and the party's opposition to the current version of a contentious bill that would enshrine Israel's status as a Jewish state.
Netanyahu “decided to take Israel to unnecessary elections last night,” Mr Lapid told an economic conference on Tuesday, adding that despite Israel's 50-day war in Gaza over the summer, concerns over the strip remain.
Mr Lapid believes the Prime Minister has veered too far to the right by supporting the expansion of Jewish settlements in east Jerusalem and the West Bank, while failing to advance the peace process with the Palestinians.
“Netanyahu has chosen to go to elections when the situation is particularly difficult,” said Yaacov Peri, Yesh Atid's science minister. “There is a crisis with the United States and the condition of the middle class is deteriorating.”
Mr Netanyahu could complete the remainder of his two-year term without the support of Yesh Atid by bringing ultra-orthodox parties into his coalition Government.
But representatives have so far shown no enthusiasm to join him and vocally supported early elections.
Danny Danon, the chairman of Mr Netanyahu's Likud party, blamed Mr Lapid for “dragging Israel to an unnecessary, and expensive, early election”.
“After the Likud is victorious at the ballot box, we must be sure not to repeat mistakes of the past and form the next coalition government with loyal and like-minded parties that are interested in serving as true partners in leading our great country,” he said.
Unrest in Jerusalem
Unrest in Jerusalem
A masked Palestinian celebrates the attack on the Jerusalem synagogue holding a poster of the attackers,Ghassan and Uday Abu Jamal, during a rally in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip
A masked Palestinian youth wearing a Hamas headband uses a sling-shot to throw back a tear gas canister towards Israeli forces during clashes outside the Israeli-run Ofer military prison following the deadly attack on a Jerusalem synagogue
Masked Palestinians hold axes and a gun as they celebrate with others an attack on a Jerusalem synagogue, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip
Israeli Zaka emergency services volunteers carry the body of one of the two Palestinian assailants who were shot dead while attacking worshippers at a synagogue to an ambulance in the ultra-Orthodox Har Nof neighbourhood in Jerusalem
An Ultra-orthodox jewish man prays at the scene of an attack, by two Palestinians, on a synagogue in the ultra-Orthodox Har Nof neighbourhood in Jerusalem
An Israeli woman cries on a veranda next to a synagogue where a suspected Palestinian attack took place in Jerusalem
An Israeli police officer gestures as he holds a weapon near the scene of an attack at a Jerusalem synagogue
Israeli Zaka emergency services volunteers carry the body of an assailant who was shot dead while attacking a synagogue
Israeli emergency services personnel clean the sidewalk at the scene of an attack, by two Palestinians, on Israeli worshippers at a synagogue in the ultra-Orthodox Har Nof neighbourhood in Jerusalem
Israeli security personnel run next to the synagogue in Har Nof, where a suspected Palestinian attack took place
A Palestinian activist knocks a hole through the wall near East Jerusalem
A masked Palestinian youth burns a tire near Israel's controversial barrier that separates the West Bank town of Abu Dis from Jerusalem
A Palestinian protester throws a stone at Israeli troops during clashes in the West Bank town of Abu Dis near Jerusalem
Palestinian mourners attend the funeral of bus driver Yusuf Hasan al-Ramuni in the West Bank town of Abu Dis from Jerusalem . A Palestinian bus driver was found hanged in his vehicle in Jerusalem, sparking clashes, after what Israel said was an apparent suicide but a colleague said looked like murder
A Palestinian protester tries to hammer a hole through Israel's controversial barrier that separates the West Bank town of Abu Dis from Jerusalem
Palestinian protesters climb a ladder at Israel's controversial barrier that separates the West Bank town of Abu Dis from Jerusalem
Israeli border policeman arrested over shooting of Palestinian boy during West Bank protests
Masked Palestinian youths clash with Israeli security forces in the east Jerusalem neighbourhood of Abu Tor
Israeli fire fighters inspect the scene of an attack in Jerusalem. A Palestinian man rammed his car into a crowded train platform in east Jerusalem and then attacked people with an iron bar, killing one person and injuring 13 in what authorities called a terror attack before he was shot dead by the police. The militant Islamic group Hamas took responsibility for the attack
Israeli police officers walk at the scene of an attack in Jerusalem
Israeli rescue workers and paramedics carry an injured man to an ambulance after a Palestinian man, Ibrahim al-Akri, was shot by Israeli police officers after he drove into a crowd of people
Ultra-Orthodox Jews look on from behind a police line at the scene of a killing when a Palestinian man drove a van into a crowd of police and civilians along the tracks of the Light Rail trolley system in East Jerusalem
His statement was taken to suggest a far-right coalition with orthodox parties who support more settlements and Jewish-oriented legislation.
Mr Netanyahu has been defending the latest draft of the so-called “Jewish state” bill from both liberals, who say it is discriminatory, and right-wing politicians, who claim it does not go far enough.
He has presented 14 “principles” as a more moderate version of previous suggestions by right-wing parties that were criticised by human rights and pro-Palestinian groups.
Critics say the law is undemocratic to Israel’s Arab and other minority populations but Mr Netanyahu insists it would guarantee equal rights for citizens.
The latest draft defines Israel as the “nation state of the Jewish people” and enshrines democracy, the right of return, Hebrew law, the protection of holy places, and the ability of all residents “regardless of religion, race or nationality” to preserve their culture and heritage.
Additional reporting by APReuse content