Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may be considering holding an early general election between the end of August to the beginning of November to take advantage of his current popularity over the country's unprepared opposition.
Dropping strong hints about rescheduling the general elections that were supposed to be held in November 2013, Netanyahu, at the start of a meeting attended by Likud ministers on Sunday, said that the speculation regarding moving up the elections would be clarified soon.
There's an assumption that we're going to early elections, but there are no conclusions yet, Netanyahu said, according to agency reports.
The prime minister said that he'll be speaking to coalition leaders in the next week or two about the date of an election, a government official who attended the meeting said.Nothing has been decided, but he wants to see what the political reality is.
Speculation on early elections is seen as a signal that Tel Aviv may not order a preemptive strike against Tehran over the latter's alleged clandestine nuclear weapons program, which is most likely to take a toll on the ruling government's popularity by risking a Middle Eastern crisis.
By holding elections, almost overlapping with or before the US Presidential elections scheduled for Nov. 6, Netanyahu's campaign will be largely free of US pressure on concessions to Palestine.
Israel's liberal newspaper Haaretz, citing political sources, said that Netanyahu would prefer elections to be held before the three-week fall holidays (which begins with Rosh Hashanah on Sept. 17 and ends with Simhat Torah on Oct. 8 ) or late August.
Knesset's summer session, opening Monday, will reportedly focus on setting a date for the general election.
Speculation is rife on Israeli media about the early general election, amid criticism against Netanyahu leveled by a former top security chief over the Premier's policies in Iran and Palestine.
Yuval Diskin, who retired last year as the director of Shin Bet, accused the Israeli government of misleading the public about the effectiveness of a preemptive strike on Iran's nuclear site, adding that he had no faith in the ability of the Israeli government in handling the Iranian threat or the Palestinian conflict.
''I don't believe in a leadership that makes decisions based on messianic feelings,'' Diskin said in the central Israeli city of Kfar Saba over the weekend. ''I have observed them from up close. I fear very much that these are not the people I'd want at the wheel.''