On March 23, Israel faced the fourth parliamentary elections in the past two years. According to the Central Election Commission of Israel about 97% of the ballots from regular polling stations have already been processed. The final turnout was 67.2%.
According to preliminary results, the bloc of the current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will receive only 59 seats in the Knesset. To gain the majority, he needs 61.
According to the most recent data assessed by the Kan state channel, 30 seats in the 24th Knesset should be given to Likud and 18 of them to “Yesh Atid”, the other seats will be likely distributed as follows :
- Shas – 9
- “Cajol Laban” – 8
- “Yaadut ha-Torah” – 7
- “Avoda” – 7
- “Yamina” – 7
- NDI – 6
- “Tikva Hadasha” – 6
- “A-Tsionut a-Datit” – 6
- Combined List – 6
- Meretz – 5
- RAAM – 5
Thus, if the United Arab List (RAAM) overcomes the electoral barrier (3,25%), the right-wing religious bloc (Likud, Shas, Yamina, Yaadut ha-Torah, A-Tsionut a-Datit) will gain only 59 mandates. Moreover, the opposition needs the Arabs (Combined List and RAAM), as if they even agree with Yamina, such a coalition would gain only 57 seats.
If none of the blocs will manage create a coalition, the country will be led by a transitional government until the fifth elections in the last two years.
Netanyahu may be interested in postponement, as it would give him about half a year more at the post of Israeli Premier Minister. On the other hand, his opponents, will have more time to prepare for new elections and pursue more aggressive policy. Some experts claim that, in such case, the leader of “Tikva Hadasha” Gideon Saar may gain the leading position among Natanyahu’s opponents. Without winning any of the four elections, Netanyahu risks losing the fifth.
Amid the difficult political situation in Israel, as Netanyahu seeks to improve his position, the military escalation takes place in the Gaza Strip. However, despite the on-going strikes, all the internal political disputes in Israel have no potential to change the situation in the region. Israeli foreign policy towards its neighbors, including Palestine, Gaza, is determined not by political parties of various stripes, but by the deep state. Israel’s current deep state is currently lead by forces with a nationalist vision. The agenda of the so-called left-wing parties is preserved exclusively for domestic consumption.
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