Israeli voters return to polls in 2nd election in 1 year

Netanyahu stymied by attorney general in push for large-scale Gaza operation reports say

A Likud party election campaign banner depicting Benjamin Netanyahu shaking hands with US President Donald Trump in Jerusalem.

More than 6.3 million people are eligible to vote at polling stations that will close at 10pm (8pm BST) on Tuesday, after which exit polls will be reported.

Gantz voted shortly afterwards in Rosh Haayin, and wished everyone luck.

Israelis are hitting the polls for the second time this year.

An end to the Netanyahu era would be unlikely to bring about a significant change in policy on hotly disputed issues in the peace process with the Palestinians that collapsed five years ago.

Netanyahu has said that if he wins another term, he will annex the Jordan Valley, about 30% of the West Bank, as well as the Jewish settlement of Hebron.

Addressing his supporters late Tuesday, a jubilant Lieberman said he saw only "one option": a broad, secular coalition with both Blue and White and Likud.

It is the first time in Israel's history that two elections have been held in the same year, after Netanyahu failed to form government following an election on April 9.

'We're working with elections officials around the world to help ensure the integrity of the elections, ' the company told the Times of Israel.

Elections are the only time Israeli Gruny Tzivin regrets naming her dog after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but lately it always seems to be election time. The only cabinet member who opposed it at the time was Netanyahu's then-defense minister, Moshe "Bogie" Yaalon, who has since parted ways with Netanyahu and is now a top Blue- White candidate.

"It's going to be close".

Traditionally, Palestinian citizens of Israel vote as a single bloc for the Arab Joint List - an electoral alliance of four Arab parties - which split into two groups before the April vote but joined forces for this election.

Almost all the major papers outline various coalition predictions if Netanyahu or his main rival Benny Gantz gets first crack, and all agree that the outcome will be determined in large part by voter turnout.

"Netanyahu was the focus during the parties' campaigns, but the indictment pending against him were barely discussed".

The parties representing minorities like the Arabs, the ultra-Orthodox and others will be critical in determining if the next leader will be Bibi or Benny Gantz, the leader of the Blue-White party, so named after the Israeli flag. "Gantz may not be ideal, but enough is enough with Bibi (Netanyahu)". Interviewed by Army Radio, he urged Tel Aviv residents to "put down their espressos for an hour" and vote - a nod to the secular, middle-class constituency he hopes to mobilize against pro-Netanyahu religious-nationalists.

Likud members said they remained behind their leader. Jordan's King Abdullah II said Tuesday the proposed annexation would be a "disaster" for the region.

Israeli Arabs vote in Kfar Manda, an Arab town in Israel, Sept. 17, 2019. In April, there was some controversy when election monitors from Netanyahu's Likud party turned up with cameras in Arab areas. "Voter turnout will likely decide the outcome of the elections".

"I look forward to continuing those discussions after the Israeli Elections when we meet at the United Nations later this month", Trump added.

White House adviser Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt have been two of the lead designers of the USA plan.

He claimed he had spent the past three decades fighting to keep Israel's military presence in the Palestinian territories despite "the pressures of the Clinton and Obama administration".

In Gaza, Palestinians awaited the results of the vote. "I think he is deliberately weakening possible future leaders to make sure he remains in power". Without a parliamentary majority, Netanyahu dissolved parliament and called a new election.

Netanyahu has traditionally allied himself with Israel's ultra-Orthodox and religious nationalist parties to form governing coalitions. Just as important is the number of lawmakers outside his own party who recommend him to the president.



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