Israel: Vote count underway in tight election

mandatory credit: central election committee

Votes are being counted in the closest Israeli election for a decade.

Election observers monitored a count in Jerusalem on Tuesday evening after polls closed. Ballot boxes were first emptied, then turnout and choice of candidate was recorded.

Exit polls suggest the race is too close to call. The Blue and White alliance led by former general Benny Gantz is projected to win between 32 and 34 seats in the 120-seat Knesset, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party 31 to 33.

Yisrael Beiteinu party leader Avigdor Lieberman may hold sway in a new government.

Netanyahu called the snap vote after failing to form a governing coalition after elections in April. Coalition negotiations are expected to start immediately with preliminary results coming on Wednesday morning.

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