Israel: Haredi, Arab Sectors Report Ballot Problems | Arutz Sheva

Polling stations only close at 10:00 pm, but several parties have already filed complaints to the Central Elections Committee (CEC) over allegations of fraud Tuesday – just halfway through election day. Yisrael Beytenu has filed a complaint, representatives stated to the press, after a number of party representatives were allegedly attacked during the voting process. In one incident, the chairman of Yisrael Beytenu’s Nazareth chapter was attacked at the polling station; local police rushed to the scene to break up the fight. In Arab-majority Baka Al Gharbia, Kafr Kara, and Sakhnin, party representatives were prevented from voting by the crowd.

Israel: Centrifuges, Palestinians, army service and cottage cheese — an Israeli election primer | The Times of Israel

According to recent polls, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is cruising to reelection. His Likud party is expected to win 30 or 31 Knesset mandates, up from 27 three years ago and way ahead of second-place Labor, which the polls predict may gain about four or five seats to 17-18. Much has changed in the political landscape since 2009 — parties splintering, leaders ousted, new parties created — but despite Labor’s resurgence under new chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich and the creation of a new populist party by former TV personality Yair Lapid, Netanyahu’s right-wing bloc can reasonably expect to stay in power. Likud, Yisrael Beytenu and Shas alone could get about 55 seats; add to that the seats of the United Torah Judaism and Jewish Home parties, and Netanyahu has a comfortable majority. But Lapid — whose new Yesh Atid (There is a Future) party is expected to win up to a dozen seats — is not the only wild card. Ousted Shas member Haim Amsellem hopes to enter the Knesset with his newly founded Am Shalem (A Complete Nation) party, and ex-minister (and ex-con) Aryeh Deri is still considering whether to field his own faction. That could cost Shas important mandates, which might force Netanyahu to look for another coalition partner — perhaps the far-right National Union. And that, in turn, could push him even further to the right and toward a collision course with the US.