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Netanyahu announces on Sept. 10 that he'll annex the Jordan Valley in the West Bank if he's re-elected. Photo: Amir Levy/Getty Images

Israel holds elections Tuesday for the second time in less than 6 months, and the latest election polls showed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party getting close to the magic number of 61 members in the Knesset for a right-wing bloc.

Why it matters: Netanyahu needs a 61-member right-wing coalition to win immunity if the attorney general decides to indict him for 3 cases of corruption after his upcoming hearing on Oct. 3.

  • He'd also need 61 to pass a law allowing the Knesset to overrule the supreme court if it were to conclude Netanyahu’s immunity status were illegal.

Driving the news: The last polls, published Friday, showed Likud tied with Benny Gantz's Blue and White party, with 32 seats each.

  • In the previous elections, they were tied at 35 seats.
  • But the latest polls also showed the right-wing bloc is at 58 or 59 seats. That's the highest since the beginning of the campaign.

The big question: What happens if neither Netanyahu nor Gantz can form a coalition, a scenario that could drag Israel into the most protracted political crisis of its history.

  • Prospects for a unity government look dim given the political stakes on both sides. Gantz has already committed not to sit in a coalition headed by Netanyahu with indictments pending.

Such an extraordinary situation would set up 2 key players:

  • Israel's President Reuven Rivlin, who has the authority to decide who gets the mandate to form the government and who could try to find a compromise that will solve the political crisis.
  • Trump, who supports Netanyahu and already has sought to shore up his political fortunes.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

In photos: Deadly Cyclone Tauktae leaves trail of destruction across India

A police officer helps a public transport driver cross a flooded street due to heavy rain caused by Tropical Cyclone Tauktae in Mumbai, India, on May 17. Photo: Ashish Vaishnav/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Tropical Cyclone Tauktae killed at least 16 people in India after making landfall in Gujarat Monday, packing 100mph winds, and sweeping across Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra, per Reuters.

The big picture: The storm unleashed heavy rains and winds as authorities continued to grapple with surging infection rates and deaths from COVID-19. Over 200,000 people were evacuated from Gujarat, and ports, airports and vaccination centers shut in the state and Mumbai, Reuters reports. Tauktae weakened from a Category 3 storm into a "severe cyclonic storm" Tuesday morning local time.

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Yellen wants business to help foot infrastructure bill

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is heading into the belly of the beast Tuesday and asking the business community to support President Biden's $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan during a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Why it matters: By trying to persuade a skeptical and targeted audience, Yellen is signaling the president’s commitment to raising corporate taxes to pay for his plan. Republican senators, critical to a potential bipartisan deal, oppose any corporate tax increase.

4 hours ago - World

Schumer's Israel vise

Sen. Chuck Schumer addresses the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in March 2014. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's longtime support for Israel puts him on a collision course with the progressive wing of his party as the conflict between Israel and Hamas worsens.

Why it matters: This is the toughest political position the New York Democrat has been in since becoming majority leader. The fighting in the Middle East is dividing his party — and creating a clear rift among its different wings.