Voters headed to polling stations in Tel Aviv on Tuesday as Israel holds its fifth national election in just four years.
Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, or ‘Bibi’ as he is known among Israelis, is aiming to return to power with a right-wing coalition, while incumbent caretaker Prime Minister Yair Lapid is hoping to stay in office.
Queues of locals were seen waiting to cast their votes at Tel Aviv’s Druyanov school in what looks set to be the highest voter turnout in an Israeli election since 1999.
“I voted for Yair Lapid, although I support the Labor party, I have a hope that he can form a government,” said a local named Adva. “I fear that if Netanyahu forms a government with Ben Gvir, we won’t have a free country anymore, in which people can live as they want with freedom, equality and happiness,” she added.
“I come from the United States of America, and we have a great deal of respect for ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu. We’ve seen what he can do on the international stage, so I would like to see ‘Bibi’ have another opportunity to lead the State of Israel into the future,” said a second local.
According to local media, inflation and the cost of living is the main issue that the Israeli people want their government to tackle.
The final polls conducted before election day suggest a continued political deadlock, with Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party and the bloc of parties supporting him struggling to secure a Knesset majority. The anti-Netanyahu bloc, led by Yair Lapid, also falls short.
On June 20, 2022, following several legislative defeats for the governing coalition in the Knesset, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and alternate Prime Minister Lapid announced the introduction of a bill to dissolve the Knesset, which was approved on June 30.
Simultaneously, per a rotation agreement that was part of the 2021 coalition deal, Lapid became Prime Minister and is serving in a caretaker capacity until the elections take place.