Israel news summary

Israel News for 3-3-2020

News Update

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With 90% of the votes counted, Here are the results:

Likud – 36

Blue and White – 32

Arab List – 15

Shas – 10

Yisrael Beyteinu – 7

Labor-Meretz – 7

UTJ – 7

Yamina – 6

The results give the right-wing block 59 seats, which is short of the 61 needed for a Knesset majority and a government. The right-wing block total does not include Yisrael Beyteinu, whose leader, Avigdor Lieberman, has refused to join a coalition with the religious parties in the past.

The final election results will not be released until later today. In addition to the remaining 10% of the votes, 340,000 votes from military polls, the votes of diplomats overseas and the tally from special polling stations including over 4000 votes from the dedicated stations set up for voters who have been exposed to the coronavirus will also need to be reported.

So there is still a chance that Likud or one of the other right-wing parties might pick up another seat or two to give Netanyahu the 61 seat majority he needs to form a government. Or they might lose a seat or 2 and make it more difficult for him.

If, after the final votes are counted, Netanyahu remains 1 or 2 seats short, it is likely that he will try to convince 1 or 2 of the more right-wing members of Blue and White to join his government. Or perhaps Lieberman will be more open to negotiating this time around.

The only thing that is certain is that Israelis do not want a fourth round of elections, so a deal must be made to form a government.

A few observations:

  1. Voter turnout was at its highest since 1999
  2. The Arab party is the third largest in the Knesset
  3. The fact that Netanyahu has been indicted and will be standing trial did not stop people from voting for him