There is expectation that the election will be held a year before it is required by law.
Mr Netanyahu leads a centre-right coalition which includes his own Likud, and the Labour party of Ehud Barak.
He has been in the office since 2009. He told a meeting of party workers in Tel Aviv that he didn’t want “a year and a half of political instability accompanied by blackmail and populism”.
He would like to lead a broadly based coalition after the election, he said, after listing the accomplishments of his government.