A new poll shows that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's ruling Likud party could face a serious challenge in the next election should former Israeli army chief Benny Gantz and current opposition party Yesh Atid unite.
The new poll of Israeli voters' intentions shows Netanyahu with a strong lead if elections were held today between the current parties in the Knesset plus a hypothetical party led by Gantz.
Under this scenario, Likud would win 28 seats, followed by Gantz with 16 seats, Yesh Atid with 13, the Joint List with 12, the Labor-dominated Zionist Camp with ten, and Jewish Home with nine.
United Torah Judaism would receive seven, Yisrael Beitenu six, while Kulanu, Shas, and a new party headed by independent MK Orly Levy-Abekasis would each pick up five. Meretz would get four.
However, were Gantz to team up with Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, and run on a joint ticket, the pair would pick up 26 seats, only three behind a projected 29 for Likud.
According to reports, Sunday's poll "shows general growing support for Gantz", with the 16 predicted seats up from a June survey which gave him 13 and a poll last month that had him on 15.
Elections must take place in Israel in 2019, at the latest by November.