Polling suggests the race for prime minister will be tight, as Benjamin Netanyahu runs against Benny Gantz

Our man in Israel, Oliver Holmes, sends this from Katamonim, in Jerusalem – a neighborhood where there is a mix of Israelis, some secular and some religious.

Moshe Tzvi, 22, studied at a religious seminary but had set up a stall outside a polling station to hand out fliers for the United Right, an alliance of far-right parties. The group has been internationally condemned for its inclusion of Jewish Power, an anti-Arab, pro-settlement party.

One of its candidates said “disloyal” Arabs should be expelled. Tzvi supported that idea. “My personal belief is that people who are not loyal to the country, they should go out,” he said.


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Peace with the Palestinians used to be the primary issue in Israeli elections. But it has not featured prominently on the campaign trail.

Observers point to various reasons for this. Some say Israelis have lost hope following failed peace efforts, while others argue the occupation has become so tightly managed that its is effectively out of sight and out of mind, meaning voters do not consider it an issue. Some point to a lack of international pressure.

Related: Why Trump’s Middle East peace plan is just a sideshow

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