Israel Election: What Are The Key issues As People Cast Votes




 

Security, Corruption and the Economy had been dominating the campaigns before the elections which are under way in Israel with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of the right-wing Likud party, seeking a fifth term in office.

If his party wins, he could become Israel’s longest-serving prime minister.

Reports from Jerusalem say polling stations opened at 7 am on Tuesday (0400 GMT) with exit polls expected at the end of the voting day. Official results are expected to come in overnight.

Netanyahu’s main rival, Benny Gantz, is a former military chief of staff. He leads the Blue and White party in alliance with Yair Lapid, a former finance minister and TV personality.

According to a poll published on Thursday by Israel’s Channel 12, in which respondents were asked who they would prefer to see as prime minister, 37 percent answered Netanyahu and 35 percent, said Gantz.

Security, corruption and the economy are key issues for Israelis before the vote.

Security

The top concern for voters is security, according to a poll conducted by political analyst Mitchell Barak of Keevon Strategies.

The Gaza Strip, home to two million Palestinians living under an Israeli siege for over a decade, remains a source of tension.

Since March 30, 2018 Palestinians there have been participating in weekly demonstrations along Israel’s separation fence, demanding an end to the siege and the right of return to their ancestral homes which they were expelled from in 1948.

Since the start of demonstrations Israelis have killed 266 Palestinians and over 30,000 have been wounded.

The Israeli public has generally supported the use of live fire against protesters in Gaza as many see the demonstrators as a security threat.

According to a poll conducted in April 2018 by the Israel Democracy Institute, 83 percent of Jewish Israelis said that the use of live fire is appropriate.


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