Final election results show Israel in political deadlock once again, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his opponents falling short of a governing majority.
Israel’s election commission says that with 100% of votes counted, Mr Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party and his natural allies have won 52 seats in the 120-seat Knesset, Israel’s parliament.
An ideologically diverse array of parties committed to removing him from power won 57 seats.
A right-wing party won seven seats and an Arab Islamist party won four.
Both are uncommitted, but given the many rivalries in parliament, it is not clear whether either one of them could deliver a required majority.
Party leaders have already begun negotiations that are expected to drag on for weeks. If no-one is able to assemble a majority of at least 61 seats, then Israel will go to elections for an unprecedented fifth time in a little over two years.
The election was widely seen as a referendum on Mr Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister.
He campaigned on the country’s successful vaccination campaign, while his opponents highlighted his earlier missteps during the pandemic and his ongoing corruption trial.