All votes have been counted and seat numbers are known, but the official result will not be announced until Friday. Netanyahu leads the largest party, the right-wing Likud, with 30 seats, but even with the allies, it becomes very difficult to get a majority.
A Palestinian party holding Israeli citizenship could theoretically help reform the majority, but this is unimaginable, according to Israeli media, because Netanyahu’s religious extremist allies do not like Israeli Arabs in the least.
Tuesday’s poll was the fourth in two years as a result of fragmentation of politics and the resulting dilapidated government alliances that ended with an early vote. But Netanyahu has managed to become prime minister of a coalition six times in the past quarter-century.
If forming a coalition government fails, the country may be forced to vote again this fall. A stable coalition could lead the country to the next four-year election.
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