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Israel could face third election this year

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Israel could face third election this year

Israel could face third election this year

Weary Israelis are bracing for their third general election in a year, which could be on the horizon after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his rival Benny Gantz failed for form a coalition government.

Lucy Fielder reports.


Israel could face third election this year

A third election in less than a year looms in Israel.

After Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's main challenger, Benny Gantz, missed a deadline to form a coalition government - following his own failure to do so.

Israelis already weary of political paralysis now face a 21-day period in which lawmakers can nominate any of their 120 colleagues in the Knesset to try to pull a government together.

If that fails -- another election, within 90 days.

Unsurprisingly, some are asking what's supposed to have changed by then.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) JONATHAN LEVI, 65-YEAR-OLD COMPUTER EXPERT FROM TEL AVIV, SAYING: "I am very disappointed that for a whole year we don't have a government.

It's disappointing.

I don't know what will be.

I can't see that another election will lead to results that are very different." Netanyahu is still holding on as caretaker, but failing to secure a fifth term as prime minister could increase his vulnerability to indictment on corruption charges.

Israel's attorney-general will soon announce whether to formally charge him, after long-running police investigations.

Netanyahu denies wrongdoing and calls it a witch-hunt.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) NAHUM TEVET, 72-YEAR-OLD ARTIST FROM TEL AVIV, SAYING: "Well, it's all about Bibi (Netanyahu) trying to escape jail and you know, we are all in trouble because of his personal problem.

He should just step out and leave us alone, to be normal state again, to have a normal government." This week saw another boost for Netanyahu's hawkish position on peace with the Palestinians, as Washington backed Israeli settlements on occupied land.

But Israel's absence of a government has also frustrated a Trump administration that's keen to roll out its Middle East plan.

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