Israel goes to the polls today for the third time in less than a year. Here's what this is about:
- Early last year, Benjamin Netanyahu was on track to become Israel's longest serving Prime Minister, but he had a fragile coalition with a one seat majority in the Knesset ( Israel's parliament).
- Then, his minister of defence, Avigdor Lieberman, quit, accusing the prime minister of being too soft on Palestinians attacking Israel from Gaza.
- Netanyahu called an election for 9 April 2019. It didn't help. He failed to get enough seats or coalition partners to form a government. Neither did the other parties.
- This led to another election on 17 September. Again, the same thing happened. No party was able to form a government.
- If the election today fails to break the deadlock, Israel will head for another election.
There are two significantly different things today since the last election:
- Donald Trump has tabled a "peace plan" proposing a two state solution with Israel retaining a number of territories it has seized in the occupied West Bank.
- Netanyahu goes to court later this month on 17 March facing charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.
As of June last year, Netanyahu is now Israel's longest serving Prime Minister.