Hamas and Fatah have reacted with a mixture of indifference and scorn to the early results from Israel's general election.
But while they find common ground in their attitude towards Israel, there are signs that tensions between the rival Palestinian factions are far from easing.
The groups are trading accusations of politically motivated beatings and murders.
Some of those claims are supported by a new report from the human rights group Amnesty International.
Palestinians on the streets of Gaza and Ramallah don't believe it matters who becomes Israel's new prime minister.
"All their governments are murderers," one man told the ABC. "They're talking about peace and peace slogans, but they never implement anything towards peace.
"But killing and destruction are the main policies of the state of Israel, and their ministers."
Similar sentiments are being expressed by the main Palestinian factions.
The senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said whoever formed the next Israeli government would be unable to forge peace with the Palestinians.
A spokesman for Hamas said: "There's no difference between [Tzipi] Livni, [Ehud] Barak, [Avigdor] Lieberman and [Benjamin] Netanyahu."
He said they had all massacred the Palestinian people. ..<cont>
With 99 percent of the votes counted, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni's Kadima Party is in first place with 28 of the Knesset's 120 seats, with Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party following closely behind with 27 seats.
As the vote progresses, Labor stands at 13 seats, while Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beitenu party is expected to garner 15 seats.
Exit polls by Israel's three main television stations on Tuesday night came to the same conclusion with Kadima as the leader and Likud coming a narrow second.
Channel 1, Channel 2 and Channel 10 polling of voters as they left the ballot box all pointed to victory for Kadima, headed by Tzipi Livni.
If the exit polls are correct, the right-wing bloc, led by Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu, will comprise 63-64 seats, while the center-left bloc, headed by Livni, will take 56-57 seats. This means that a win in the polls does not necessarily mean that the next government will have a center-left bent
JERUSALEM " Israelis awoke Wednesday to find that their parliamentary elections had yielded not a new government but political gridlock instead, along with the prospect of weeks of wrangling and deal making before the country’s direction becomes clear.
With 99 percent of the votes counted, the center-left Kadima Party of Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni held a one-seat lead over the rightist Likud Party of Benjamin Netanyahu, 28 to 27 out of 120 seats in Parliament.
But the total gains of all parties on the right far outweighed those of the left, leading Mr. Netanyahu and his supporters to demand that he be given first crack at forming the next government.
The remaining 1 percent of votes to be counted " those of soldiers and state employees serving abroad " were expected to be tallied by Thursday and could tip the balance.
Either way, the country’s president, Shimon Peres, was to consult with all parliamentary factions in the coming days before assigning either Mr. Netanyahu or Ms. Livni the task of putting together a coalition with more than 60 seats. That will probably happen next week. ...<cont>
While the make-up of the next government remains a question mark in Israel, it appears that the United States and the European Union have already weighed in with a clear preference for a unity government that includes Kadima and Likud.
The U.S. official position is that it looks forward to "working with any government," but in back-channel messages the Obama administration has made it clear it would like to see a unity government in Jerusalem over a narrow right-wing government which would in all likelihood result in a freeze in peace talks with the Palestinians.
Aides to Likud chairman Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed on Friday that Washington officials did indeed relay the message while associates of Kadima chief Tzipi Livni denied receiving such a message.
Officially, the State Department said the coalitional line-up is an internal Israeli matter with which Washington does not involve itself. ...<cont>
.....As confusing as Tuesday's results might be for some, if democracy is about expressing the will of the people, then the elections achieved that goal perfectly. Because the real truth about Israelis and their politics is that the people don't know what they want.
Some people, like Tzipi Livni, believe an end to Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the creation of an independent Palestinian state are the only ways to preserve Israeli democracy over the long term.
A not insignificant bloc of the Israeli public believes that a Palestinian state will be the beginning of the end of Israel. ......
"The world cannot afford to live with a nuclear Iran," he said. "I hope diplomacy will work, but I'm not sure we have the time for [it] to work.
"Israel has made it very clear that it will not live with a nuclear Iran, and I believe that Israel has the ability and the capacity to make sure that it will not happen." ......
............Detailed military plans to bomb Iran's nuclear enrichment facilities have long been on the table of Israel's senior military commanders.
Israel's Prime Minister, Ehud Barak, was believed to have requested support from the US for a military strike on Iran last May, but the plans were aborted after president George Bush declined to endorse them. .........
The current president hasn't shown a willingness to risk the political capital he needs to really pursue peace anyway, so it's not a huge setback to American efforts, as American efforts will continue to be half-hearted either way.
To be honest, even if the more sane Israelis end up in power, they are likely going to have to play hawks to stay there, and may not have the political capital they need to make any progress towards peace either.