Israel is heading to the polls, again. After re-elected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a ruling coalition, another general election will now take place on 17 September.
MEMO will be following this unprecedented set of events, taking a look at the major political parties, their top candidates and campaign promises on key topics affecting the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Click the "more about the party" buttons below to see a summary of each party's manifesto and what the party leaders have said about Jerusalem, the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip. Stay tuned for updates in the run up to election day.
Just hours before the deadline to submit party listings ahead of April’s election, the Israel Resilience party (Hosen L’Yisrael) and Yesh Atid announced that they had reached an agreement to run together, calling their merged list the Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) alliance.
Under the agreement the two parties’ leaders - Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid - will rotate the premiership, with Gantz first serving as prime minister for 2.5 years and Lapid then serving for a further 2.5 years.
The agreement also saw former Chief of Staff of the Israeli army, Gabi Ashkenazi, join the ticket. In what will be seen as a coup for the two centrist parties, it is thought that Ashkenazi will bring with him a substantial Mizrahi (Middle Eastern Jewish) vote given his family heritage.
In April, Kahol Lavan proved to be the biggest threat to the Likud party’s dominance of the Knesset. The alliance eventually finished with 35 seats, the same number as Likud, but Gantz was not given the chance to form a government because of Netanyahu’s position as incumbent prime minister.
During May’s unprecedented vote to dissolve the Knesset and once again go to elections, Blue and White Knesset Members (MKs) argued that, since Netanyahu had failed to form a government, Gantz should be given the chance. Though the party’s MKs, along with Meretz and Israeli Labor, voted against dissolving the Knesset, they were defeated by a 74 to 45 majority.
The Union of Right Wing Parties (URWP) was formed as an alliance between the Jewish Home, National Union and Jewish Power (Otzma Yehudit) parties, and ran on a joint ticket in the April election. Having won five seats in April and forming a crucial component of subsequent coalition negotiations, it is thought the alliance will continue to work together ahead of 17 September.
URWP was formed as part of a deal orchestrated by incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who, fearing an increasingly emboldened centre-left, sought to bolster the right-wing bloc that could support him if he is re-elected and tasked with forming a government.
URWP supports overtly religious-Zionist ideas and is in favour of increased illegal settlement in the occupied West Bank and the annexation of Area C. Several of its prominent members have close ties to the illegal settlement movement, meaning the alliance is likely to play to this electorate once again.