Israelis began voting in twice postponed municipal elections that could offer a gauge of the public mood nearly five months into the Gaza conflict, AFP reports.

Soldiers had already cast their ballots over the past week at special polling stations set up in army encampments in Gaza as fighting rages on.

Polls opened at 7am (0500 GMT) and were due to close at 10:00 pm (2000 GMT).

More than seven million people are eligible to vote in the elections for local councils across most of Israel, in Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, Jerusalem and parts of the annexed Golan Heights.

The vote, first scheduled for October 31, has been pushed back to November 2024 in towns and villages bordering the besieged Gaza Strip or Lebanon, where Hezbollah has fired rockets at Israel almost daily since the start of the Gaza conflict.

Nearly 150,000 Israelis have been displaced by hostilities in those areas.

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