The specter of fifth elections looms in Israel as the pro-Benjamin Netanyahu political bloc falls short of winning 61 seats in the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) required to form a government, gaining only 59 seats with 87% of votes counted.

The Israeli Central Election Commission said that 87% of the votes cast in Tuesday’s legislative elections were counted.

As of now, the Likud Party led by Netanyahu is leading the race with 30 seats. Exit polls earlier predicted that the Likud would win 31-32 seats in parliament.

The Yesh Atid Party, led by Netanyahu’s rival Yair Lapid, came in second place with 17 seats so far.

Meanwhile, The United Arab List (RA’AM) led by Mansour Abbas managed to secure five seats in the Knesset so far, in contrast with exit polls that predicted failure to pass the threshold.

*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

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