Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has canceled his planned visit toÂ the United Nations General Assembly, in New York, amid a political deadlock, following Tuesdayâ€™s general elections.
The decision was announced on Wednesday, after both Netanyahuâ€™s right-wing Likud Party and the centrist Blue and White alliance, of former military chief Benny Gantz, failed to garner enough seats to secure a parliamentary majority needed to form an administration.
With over 92 percent of the votes counted, Likud Party and the Blue and White Party have respectively secured 31 and 32 parliamentary seats, according to Press TV/Al Ray.
Both parties say they have already started negotiations, with the intent of forming a coalition, while theyâ€™re waiting for the official results.
For a governing coalition of 61 legislators, each party would have to form a coalition with other parties, including the far-right party of former minister of military affairsÂ Avigdor Lieberman, Yisrael Beiteinu, which, according to early results, has nine seats in the assembly.
Tuesdayâ€™s election was Israelâ€™s second vote in five months. NetanyahuÂ called the snap vote after he failed to win a majority in Aprilâ€™s elections.
Netanyahu, a close ally of US President Donald Trump, was expected to address the General Assembly on September 26, as the 12th speaker, just three slots after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
According to Israeli media, Foreign Minister Israel Katz will attend the event in his place.
Over the past decade, Netanyahu has made nine speeches at the annualÂ UN gathering, most of them focused on Iran, including one in 2012, during which he displayed a cartoon of a bomb, in an attempt to portray the Islamic Republic as a threat.
(edited for the IMEMC by c h r i s @ i m e m c . o r g)
Chris Carlson is a student of religion at Mount Mercy University, United States, and has been a regular volunteer with the IMEMC since 2013. He assisted in providing extensive coverage of the 2014 Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip, and continues into the present day, with the issues at hand. He can be reached via email at c h r i s @ i m e m c . o r g.