Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, July 9th, 2020

Polls Open in Israel’s Third Election in Less Than a Year

Polls Open in Israel’s Third Election  in Less Than a Year

JERUSALEM - Israelis are heading to polling stations to cast their ballots in their third general election in less than a year after the two largest parties failed to achieve a power-sharing government.
Opinion polls in the lead-up to Saturday's vote forecast a tight race between embattled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who heads the right-wing Likud party and who is facing trial for corruption, and former army chief Benny Gantz, leader of the Blue and White alliance.
Both will fall well short of a majority in Israel's proportional system and the winner will seek to form a coalition with multiple smaller parties, raising the possibility of a fourth election in quick succession.
Polls for 6.4 million eligible voters opened at 7am (05:00 GMT). Israelis have until 10pm (20:00 GMT) to cast their vote, at which point media outlets can publish the first exit polls and signal whether the deadlock was broken.
Israeli citizens aged 18 and over, including those living in illegal settlements in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank are eligible to vote.
The 4.8 million Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza do not have voting rights.
There was little fanfare in the days leading up to the vote, with a noticeable absence of campaign posters and public rallies on the streets. With voter fatigue clearly a factor after the inconclusive polls in September and April, turnout could prove to be decisive.
In fact, what we're seeing is people coming out to vote, hoping that this one will be decisive," Khan said. (Aljazeera)