Media: Netanyahu may seek coalition after election

Vote counting is under way in Israel's parliamentary election. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's ruling party is likely to win most of the votes but may fail to secure a majority.

The election commission has released partial results of Israel's fourth national election in two years held on Tuesday. The three previous elections failed to give a majority to any party.

In the initial results, Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party had a lead with about 24 percent of the vote. Opposition centrist Yesh Atid trailed with 14 percent. Religious party Shas followed with about 7 percent.

The parliamentary seats will be allotted to each party in proportion to the share of the final vote.

Local media say Likud is unlikely to win a single-party majority and Netanyahu will have to negotiate a governing coalition with other parties, including right-wing oppositions.

During the campaign, Netanyahu emphasized his achievements in the successful response to coronavirus infections and improving relations with Arab countries.

The peace process with Palestine was not the focus in the election campaign, although US President Joe Biden's administration has shown willingness to advance it.

It is still unclear if Netanyahu can gain support to form a stable government as he is seeking.