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Poll: Right-wing and religious block gaining power in Israel

Thousands of people gather to protest Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over alleged corruption at the Habima Square in Tel-Aviv, Israel on December 30, 2017 [Kobi Wolf / Anadolu Agency]
Thousands of people gather to protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over alleged corruption in Tel-Aviv, Israel on 30 December 2017 [Kobi Wolf / Anadolu Agency]

Israel’s right-wing religious bloc has strengthened its position within the Knesset, a new poll has found.

According to the survey, if elections were to be held today, the Israeli right would open up an 18 seat lead over the left and the current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would be re-elected to become Israel’s longest serving premier.

The next parliamentary elections are due in November 2019, but despite the corruption charges surrounding Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister would easily strengthen his position with a stronger coalition of right wing groups to back him.

According to the poll by the Hebrew daily Yisrael Hayom, the Likud would retain the 30 seats it won in 2015, but the poll suggest that ring-wing groups like the Jewish Home party, led by Education Minister Naftali Bennett, would become the second largest party. The shift towards the right would be further reinforced by a number of religious parties like the Haredi parties, United Torah Judaism who also stand to gain seats.

Read: Knesset warned of ICC investigation in 2018

The shift to the right would be reinforced further by Defence Minister Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party. The poll found that Lieberman’s party would double its seats to eight.

In contrast, opposition groups are predicted to loose seats in the Knesset. The left-wing block made up of Labour and Hatnua parties would fall from 24 seats to just 13 while the Arab Joint List party would lose five seats maintaining control of just eight.

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