Israel parliament disbands for vote

Israel's parliament has voted to dissolve itself ahead of early national elections set for January 2013.

Parliament speaker Reuven Rivlin made the announcement after a long day of political speeches and debates that ended in a unanimous vote.

Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week said he would order new elections, months ahead of time, because the parliament could not agree on a new budget.

Israeli leaders launched harsh attacks on one another during a parliamentary debate that preceded the vote, setting the parameters for what is likely to follow in the campaign.

Mr Netanyahu boasted of his achievements, while the opposition heckled and insulted him mercilessly.