Caution is needed on Wednesday, September 18 in Israel, the day after new parliamentary elections whose results are expected to be tight. Some 69.4 percent of the 6.4 million voters answered the call, according to the electoral commission.
Exit polls credit Likud (right) of incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from 30 to 32 seats out of 120 in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, versus 32 to 34 seats for Benny Gantz's Blue-white party, former head of the army who has converted to politics.
The question is not so much who will have the most seats between these two, but who will be able to reach, by alliances, the number of 61 deputies, the threshold of the majority in Parliament. No bloc currently seems able to gather this number of deputies and thus to form a government after this second election in five months, the April elections having resulted in a similar score.
It's time for talks
The time is already at the talks between the parties. "We will act to form a broad unity government that will express the will of the people (...) We have started negotiations and I will speak with everyone," said Benny Gantz night, his supporters gathered at Tel -Aviv. "Tonight begins the repair business of the Israeli company," added Benny Gantz. "Unity and reconciliation are before us."
The hoarse voice, Benjamin Netanyau pleaded for a "strong Zionist government", without the participation of "Arab anti-Zionist parties" during a speech in the middle of the night in front of a sparse parterre supporters. "We will negotiate with the largest number of partners to avoid the formation of a dangerous anti-Zionist government (...) there will be no and there can not be a government that relies on Arab anti-Zionist parties , parties that deny the very existence of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, "he added.
Our correspondent in Jerusalem Antoine Mariotti recalls that after the legislative elections last April, Benjamin Netanyahu had given a fiery speech winner. "Tonight is a much shorter speech, much less cheerful.It does not recognize defeat but does not declare either winner." And to add: "It seems a little disappointed by the results."
The nationalist party Israel Beiteinou for the moment "non-aligned" of the former minister Avigdor Lieberman and credited with 8 or 9 seats could tip the scales. A former minister under Benjamin Netanyahu, but currently out of step with the prime minister, Avigdor Lieberman did not say clearly whether he would support the Likud camp or the Blue White party. "There is only one option for us and it is the formation of a broad government of national and liberal union with Israel Beitenou, the party Blue-white and the Likud," he said, thus excluding the ultra-Orthodox and Arab Jewish parties.
"The Netanyahu era has ended"
Avigdor Lieberman led his campaign against the ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties, allies of the Likud, which he accuses of wanting to make Israel a religious state. He has also shot red balls in recent years on Arab formations. But these parties, credited Tuesday from 11 to 15 seats, could play a crucial role in supporting one candidate or another.
"The Netanyahu era has ended," said Tuesday night Ahmed Tibi, one of the tenors of the "United List" of Arab parties that opposes the Prime Minister. "If Benny Gantz calls, we will communicate our conditions to him, after consultation of the United List parties, perhaps he will not wish to call us and he will prefer to form a government of national unity" without the Arab parties , he added.
The outcome of this new vote is all the more crucial for Benjamin Netanyahu he intervenes before his appearance in court on October 3 for cases of "corruption", "breach of trust" and "malpractice". For now, he is neither charged nor sentenced, but a victory could allow his allies to vote his immunity.
>> Relive the election night with our liveblog:
Legislative Liveblog in Israel