JERUSALEM – The Israelis Vote on Tuesday in an Unparalleled Redial It will decide if the longtime Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remains in power.
Against the prospect of possible corruption charges, Netanyahu seeks a fifth term.
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He faces a major challenge from retired military chief Benny Gantz, whose centrist blue-and-white party even ran for Netanyahu's Likud. However, both parties may have difficulty forming a majority coalition with smaller allies, forcing them into a potential unity government.
It's the second el election this year, after Netanyahu had formed no coalition following the vote in April and the dissolution of parliament.
Polling stations open at 7 am and polling stations open at 10 pm at the end of the election day. It is expected that the official results will arrive overnight.
With his political career in sight, Netanyahu has launched a furious campaign and taken a late, hard right turn. He has staged a flood of media appearances to ask followers to vote in large numbers to ward off the prospect of a left-wing government that he says will jeopardize the country's security.
At the heart of his late-day agenda was the promise to expand Israeli sovereignty over parts of the West Bank and annex all Jewish settlements there, which Netanyahu failed to do during his decade of power.
The proposal triggered a cascade of international condemnation, including from Europe and Saudi Arabia, an influential Arab country that maintains silent, unofficial relations with Israel. However, the US reacted cautiously, suggesting that Netanyahu had voted his plan ahead with the Americans.
He also denounced his close relations with President Donald Trump and the prospect of a defensive pact between their countries shortly after the election
Gantz presents himself as an honest alternative to the scandalized Netanyahu and his close coalition of ultra-nationalist and ultra-religious parties at. Committed to the rhetoric of unity and egalitarianism, Gantz says he represents a fresh start for Israel and has barred working with a prime minister accused of serious crimes, in anticipation of a long-delayed hearing in early October – only three weeks after the election.