(AP) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing allies fell short of winning a parliamentary majority in Israel’s latest election, according to a final vote count released Thursday, leaving a political deadlock that put the long-time leader’s future in question.
The fourth election in just two years brought a stinging rebuke for Netanyahu, the most dominant figure in Israeli politics in a generation. Adding to the pain, he lost ground to former partners who vowed never to sit in a government with him again.
Under Israel’s fragmented political system, Netanyahu could still try to reach across the aisle and cobble together a governing coalition. But the makeup of the new parliament will make that extremely difficult, giving his opponents the upper hand in coalition talks. It’s also quite possible Israel will go into a fifth election later this year.