Israel's largest opposition bloc splits in new upheaval

JERUSALEM — The leader of Israel's Labor Party has broken up the country's largest opposition bloc, the latest political upheaval ahead of April elections.

Avi Gabbay announced on Tuesday that Labor would run independently, without the Hatnua movement of former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.

The two had made up the Zionist Union bloc, which earned 24 seats in previous elections, finishing second only to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party.

But the union has recently been polling in single digits, a historic low for a bloc led by the Labor Party that founded Israel and led it for its first 30 years.

The development comes after a pair of nationalist Israeli Cabinet ministers last week left the Jewish Home party to form a new party that would challenge Netanyahu from the right.

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