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Israel: Polls show Netanyahu's coalition losing majority

Governing bloc would get between 53-54 seats at best if elections were held today
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been facing widespread protests over attempts to exert political control over the judiciary (Reuters)

Israel's governing coalition led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would likely lose the next elections if they were held today, according to new polls released on Monday. 

The survey conducted by Israel's Channel 12 News and public broadcaster Kan showed that the coalition would fall short of achieving an outright majority in parliament.

Netanyahu’s Likud party, Religious Zionism, Shas and United Torah Judaism – would fall short of the 61 seats needed for a majority in the 120-seat parliament. 

According to the polls, Netanyahu's coalition at best could muster a total of between 53-54 seats.

Meanwhile the opposition, made up of the National Unity Party, Yesh Atid, Yisrael Beytenu, Meretz, United Arab List and Labor would likely win 61 seats. 

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Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, who led the government from 1996 to 1999 and again between 2009 and 2021, returned to power after his Likud party, far-right religious Zionist factions and ultra-Orthodox parties secured 64 seats in December.

His government has pushed for a controversial judicial overhaul plan that sparked weeks-long mass protests since January.

Events took a dramatic turn over the weekend after Netanyahu dismissed Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, a day after he called for the judicial reforms to be suspended.

Netanyahu announced a temporary pause to the overhaul on Monday following unprecedented strikes, protest action and the upheaval in the military.

The proposed judicial reforms being pushed by Netanyahu's coalition government would give parliament both the power to override Supreme Court decisions through a simple majority vote, and de facto control over court nominees, a role currently held by a mixed panel of politicians, judges, and bar association members.

It would also limit the court's ability to overturn legislation contradicting the country's quasi-constitutional Basic Laws.

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