Israelis hope it will be third time lucky as voters seek an end to political deadlock

Polling stations are open until 8pm UK time, following stalemate in elections on April 9 and September 17 last year



Israelis have begun voting in the country's third general election in less than twelve months, in the hoping of breaking the deadlock in the Knesset.

Neither Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing bloc nor its centrist rival led by Benny Gantz emerged with a governing majority following elections in April and September last year.

Israel has never held multiple elections in such quick succession.

But analysts have speculated that yet another election may have to be held in September, as the final opinion polls indicated Mr Netanyahu's Likud party had not shed significant levels of support since last year.

Special polling stations were set up for Israelis who may have been exposed to coronavirus.

Mr Netanyahu is fighting this election while facing criminal indictment on corruption and fraud charges. A first court hearing is due to take place on Tuesday, March 17, irrespective of today's result.

In April's election Likud and Blue & White each won 35 seats, while in September Blue & White took 33 against Likud's 32.

A coalition needs 61 seats in the 120-seat Knesset in order to form a government.

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