According to exit polls released by Israeli television channels, Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has not secured a ruling majority in the election today.
According to the exit polls show Netanyahu’s right-wing bloc will earn 54-57 Knesset seats. However, Blue and White (Kahol Lavan), led by ex-General Benny Gantz, is likely to be the largest party. Neither party appear to have won enough for a 61-seat majority. Instead, it is expected that President Reuven Rivlin will be forced to decide who will try to form a governing coalition.
However, exit polls suggest that the Arab-majority Joint List will be the third biggest party, with somewhere between 11 and 15 seats.
The exit polls project the following results:
- Yamina, led by former Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, may win 6-8 seats,
- Yisrael Beiteinu, led by Avigdor Lieberman, is likely to win 8-10 seats.
- Shas is projected to win 8-13
- United Torah Judaism is expected to win eight seats.
- The Democratic Union party is projected to win 5-6 seats.
- Labor-Gesher is projected to win 5-6 seats
Recently Netanyahu promised that if re-elected he would annex one-third of the West Bank, including the Jordan Valley, the West Bank’s most fertile area. None of the Palestinians in occupied West Bank or Gaza are permitted to vote in this election, despite the fact that they have been ruled over by Israel’s military occupation for more than 50 years.