Security was at an all time high on Tuesday as Israeli voters went to the polls to elect the country's 17th government.
The make-up of the next Knesset will largely determine the shape of Israel's final borders - and the degree to which they will cut into the territory Palestinians want for a future state.
Fearing Palestinian militants would launch an attack in an attempt to influence the outcome of the vote, as has happened in the past, twenty-five thousand policemen are patrolling sensitive areas such as Jerusalem's Old City and maintaining a presence at polling stations.
But unlike previous elections - when pro-peace parties feared pre-vote terror attacks that could push voters rightward - even major violence appears unlikely to shake a new Israeli consensus that Israel must quit the main Palestinian population centres if it is to be both Jewish and democratic.
Still, police were taking no chances, tightening security at West Bank checkpoints and closing off Jerusalem's Al Aqsa Mosque compound to visitors.
The man largely responsible for the snap election, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, remains in a coma at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem where he has been confined since suffering a massive stroke on January fourth.
The man expected to form the next government, Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, has campaigned on a pledge to continue Sharon's policies of unilateral territorial realignments as an attempt to settle the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
Critics say this unilateralist approach will signal the death of an already moribund peace process.