The Israeli leaders confrontational style has cut the country off from its friends and exposed its citizens to harm

The likelihood that Benjamin Netanyahu will emerge victorious after Israel’s election on Tuesday is doubtless pleasing for his rightwing supporters and his oleaginous pal in the White House. But it is a worrying prospect for the country and the Middle East as a whole. Mr Netanyahu has dominated domestic politics for a decade, yet has failed in the most important task of any Israeli leader: making the country safe.

The polls point to a Netanyahu-led coalition comprising his party, Likud and several rightwing and far-right minor parties. It remains possible, though less likely, that the centrist Blue and White alliance led by the former army chief, Benjamin Gantz, will prevail. Either way, winning margins will be tight, raising doubts about the stability and longevity of the next government.

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Read More The Observer view on Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel’s elections | Observer editorial

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