Photo Credit: Kobi Richter/TPS
Voting in Israel

Thirty-nine political parties registered with the Central Elections Committee to run for the 24th Knesset, ahead of the upcoming March 23 elections, Israel’s fourth round in less than two years. That’s 10 lists less than in the elections less than a year ago,

The lists include mainstream and well-known parties such as the Likud and Labor, as well as the less-known Pirates and other splinter factions.

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The majority of the parties will not pass the voters threshold and will not receive the required minimum of four seats to enter the Knesset.

Some of the parties are new, like the New Hope, headed by Gideon Saar, who broke away from Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud.

The Arab-majority Joint List split ahead of the elections, potentially cutting its position in the Knesset by a third from 15 to 10 seats, according to the latest polls.

The elections come as the left-center bloc is divided, the Arab-majority Joint List is on the verge of final dissolution, and four parties that will combat each other are running on the right, ensuring an acrimonious period in an already toxic environment in Israel.

Polls show that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party is in the lead with about 30 seats while Blue and White, his former chief coalition partner, has lost most of its power and is on the verge of not passing the voting threshold.

The latest polls show that Netanyahu will have an uphill battle in forming a coalition, and his ability to secure a slim majority of 61 seats is in question.

Several pundits believe that Israel will be facing a fifth round of elections within months.

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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.