World

Israeli lawmakers to vote on dissolving parliament, prompting early elections

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, arrives to a faction meeting at the Knesset, Israel's parliament in Jerusalem, Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014. Israeli lawmakers voted Wednesday to dissolve the Knesset, a preliminary step that will pave the way for early elections two years ahead of schedule. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, arrives to a faction meeting at the Knesset, Israel's parliament in Jerusalem, Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014. Israeli lawmakers voted Wednesday to dissolve the Knesset, a preliminary step that will pave the way for early elections two years ahead of schedule. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)  (The Associated Press)

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaks during a faction meeting at the Knesset, Israel's parliament in Jerusalem, Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014. Israeli lawmakers voted Wednesday to dissolve the Knesset, a preliminary step that will pave the way for early elections two years ahead of schedule. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaks during a faction meeting at the Knesset, Israel's parliament in Jerusalem, Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014. Israeli lawmakers voted Wednesday to dissolve the Knesset, a preliminary step that will pave the way for early elections two years ahead of schedule. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)  (The Associated Press)

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, speaks with Knesset members prior to a vote at the Knesset, Israel's parliament in Jerusalem, Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014. Israeli lawmakers voted Wednesday to dissolve the Knesset, a preliminary step that will pave the way for early elections two years ahead of schedule. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, speaks with Knesset members prior to a vote at the Knesset, Israel's parliament in Jerusalem, Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014. Israeli lawmakers voted Wednesday to dissolve the Knesset, a preliminary step that will pave the way for early elections two years ahead of schedule. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)  (The Associated Press)

Israeli lawmakers are set to vote on a motion that will pave the way for early elections.

Wednesday's vote in the Knesset is a preliminary one and is likely to pass. Further votes expected next week will officially dissolve Israel's parliament, ushering in new polls two years ahead of schedule.

The current government took office in early 2013 and has been riven by divisions from the beginning over the major issues facing the country.

On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired two rebellious Cabinet ministers and said elections would be held "as soon as possible."

The election, expected to be held early next year, would come at a time of growing violence between Palestinians and Jews and deepening despair over the prospects for peace.