Israel goes to polls, set to re-elect Netanyahu

by
January 22, 2013

Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu casts his ballot for the parliamentary election at a polling station in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM | Israelis voted on Tuesday in an election that is expected to hand hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a third term, opening the way for a showdown with Iran and bolstering opponents of Palestinian statehood.

However, Netanyahu’s own Likud party, running alongside the ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beitenu group, looks set to have fewer seats than in the previous parliament, with opinion polls showing a surge in support for the far-right Jewish Home party.

Political sources said Netanyahu, concerned by his apparent fall in popularity, might approach center-left parties after the ballot in an effort to broaden his coalition and present a more moderate face to Washington and other concerned allies.

“We want Israel to succeed, we vote Likud-Beitenu … The bigger it is, the more Israel will succeed,” Netanyahu said after voting alongside his wife and two sons.

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