Israel early elections
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired two coalition partners, Finance Minister Yair Lapid, and Justice Minister, Tzipi Livni. Reuters

Israel is to hold early elections on 17 March following the collapse of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition government, according to Israel's parliamentary spokesman.

"After consultations between different parties, it has been decided to hold elections on March 17," Eran Sidis told AFP news agency.

Sidis added that the process to adopt a law which would dissolve the Israeli parliament [Knesset] would commence on Wednesday.

Netanyahu requested the early elections after firing two key ministers in his coalition, Finance Minister, Yair Lapid, and Justice Minister, Tzipi Livni.

The election will be held just two years after the last poll with Netanyahu's approval ratings sliding after heightened unrest in Jerusalem.

As the coalition went into meltdown, Lapid blamed Netanyahu for the early elections, saying that he was ignoring the needs of the Israeli public, while Likud hardliner Danny Danon said that Lapid's stubbornness had taken Israelis to "expensive, unnecessary elections, in which the Likud will once again win."

Justice Minister Livni said that the coalition crisis was a battle between "Zionism" and "extremism".

"These [will be] elections between the Israeli Zionist camp and dangerous extremists who must be prevented from taking control of the State of Israel and destroying it," she said.