Israel's acting Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, has declared victory in the country's general election, although his party won fewer seats than it had hoped.
With votes in from nearly all the polling stations, official results show the centrist Kadima party with 28 seats in the 120-member parliament.
Kadima will now try to form a coalition and pursue its pledge of establishing permanent border.
The right-wing Likud party, which ruled Israel until three months ago, suffered a slump in support emerging with just 11 seats.
Speaking last night after exit polls showed his party would win, Mr Olmert told the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, that his country is ready to make compromises in the search for peace in the Middle East, reports RTE.
The United States does not recognize the entry of Ukrainian territories into Russia. Such a development will seriously complicate prospects for a diplomatic settlement