COVID-19 patient Rahamim Havura votes for Israel's parliamentary election inside an intensive care ward for coronavirus…
COVID-19 patient Rahamim Havura votes for Israel's parliamentary election inside an intensive care ward for coronavirus patients at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, Israel, March. 23, 2021.

JERUSALEM - Israelis go to the polls for the fourth time in two years. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu - already Israel’s longest serving Prime Minister - is hoping for another term, but is under strong pressure from the opposition to leave.

Voter turnout Tuesday was high despite voter fatigue among Israelis who have done this three times before in the past two years. 

Analysts here say this election is a clear referendum on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is currently on trial for corruption.

Netanyahu’s main challenge is coming from a centrist former TV personality named Yair Lapid, who hopes to capitalize on public dissatisfaction with Netanyahu’s handling of the coronavirus crisis and allegations of corruption to unseat him.

The election is being held as Israel’s COVID-19 situation has improved dramatically.

More than four-point-six million Israelis, about half the population, are fully vaccinated and health officials say Israel is well on its way to herd immunity. Another 15 percent of the population has recovered from COVID-19, while more than six thousand have died.

Din Livneh, the legal advisor to Israel’s Central Election committee talks about special accommodations made for those who have the virus. 

The CEC, the Central Elections committee, will take any voter who is sick on election day, with a special car that has separation between the driver and the voter, to the polling station and back, and so everyone will know that the sick doesn’t go out to the streets,” said Livneh.

Either side needs to win 61 out of 120 seats in the Israeli parliament. 

It could be several weeks until Israelis know who will lead their next government. 

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