Voters will today take to the polls to vote in the second Israeli general election in 6 months.
The Israeli parliament, the Knesset, voted on 30th May to initiate a new election on the 17th September. After the vote in April, both the Likud party and the Blue and White party came out of with 35 seats each out of a possible 120. Prime Minister Netanyahu failed to create a coalition fit for governance, despite being announced as the victor.
The new vote could lead to a record fifth term for Netanyahu if he were to succeed in this second vote.
Netanyahu is, however, facing some of his fiercest resistance in years. Benny Gantz, the founder of Blue and White, has gained popularity with a centrist approach which promises to unite Israel. The former Israeli general has joined with other ex-military leaders in an attempt to create a party that can work for ‘the majority of Israeli citizens’.
Polls suggest that Netanyahu’s Likud party will tie with Blue and White, requiring smaller parties to play a key role in forming a coalition government after the vote.
Over recent months, Netanyahu’s policies have increasingly appealed to the Israeli right-wing. His pledge to place the Jordan Valley under Israeli control if he wins would annex much of the West Bank – a move that Palestinian diplomat Saeb Erekat has said would ‘bury any chance of peace’ in the region.
Netanyahu’s popularity has suffered recently amid multiple court cases charging him with alleged corruption. He has denied such claims.
Photo Credit: U.S. Department of State from United States [Public domain]