Israel's election leaves Netanyahu needing unlikely allies

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Voters in Israel went to the polls this week in a bid to free the country of the political stalemate that has seen it hold four elections in two years. But after another cliffhanger result, the deadlock continues and it may be weeks before it becomes clear if prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu will be able to form another government. Exit polls after Tuesday’s vote indicated it might be possible for Netanyahu - or Bibi as he is known to some – to form a wafer-thin majority if he could persuade the right-wing Ya-mina party to come on board. But that was before the anti-Zionist Arab party, Ra’am, surprised pundits by crossing the threshold needed to win a place in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament. Ra’am’s projected five seats means the support of Ya-mina will no longer be enough to keep Netanyahu in power – he will need the support of both. An unlikely prospect, given that Ra’am and Ya-mina would seem very unlikely to countenance going into government with each other. To find out more, we talk to our correspondent in Jerusalem Mark Weiss.

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