We vote for the pieces... meaning we choose a political party, and depending on what percentage of the total votes it gets*, those on its list will become MKs Knesset Members. It can be as little as zero or as many as a few dozen.
Then, after we vote and the votes are counted, the wheeling and dealing start in earnest. Usually the political party that ends up with the most votes MKs can manage to craft a coalition, but there have been exceptions.
One of the big difficulties is that not all political parties even have a chance of being part of a coalition. The Arab parties have almost no chance of being included. The main reason is that it goes against their basic party platform. And the second is that some political parties won't sit in a coalition with an Arab party, since they promote the destruction of the State of Israel. Arab MKs can be in the coalition as members of regular Israeli political parties.
Another political party which has a small chance of being included is Avigdor Yvette Lieberman's party Yisrael Beiteinu. He has a hard core of voters who give him, according to the latest polls, seven seats. He's more a spoiler than a kingmaker. His leaving the coalition a couple of years ago was the cause of the spate of recent elections. I don't trust Lieberman. He's neither right nor left, just an anarchist.
Even though there are four people running for the position of Prime Minister, in actuality we can't vote for any of them. We vote for a party list and hope and pray that our choice party will be part of the ruling coalition.
Who's going to win? That's a good question. So far, ever since Yvette Lieberman broke up the last "normal" government, the citizens of the State of Israel have lost every election.
I don't take polls seriously, since they're just polls. But if you want to see what the polls are showing then check out Jeremy's blog.
My educated guess and gut feeling are that the actual count won't be completed until next week. There will be many more "double envelope votes" than usual. All of those soldier, hospital, jail, special COVID corona and quarantine polling stations will allow people to vote with a double envelop. Each outer envelope will have the person's ID number which has to be checked against the master list of those who voted in their official location. This is a very time-consuming process. If the ID number doesn't show up, then the ballot envelope is collected to be counted. And then all kosher votes are added and calculated, and then we'll know who the next one hundred and twenty 120 Knesset Members will be.
I don't think that the party leaders will have much of a Passover Vacation. But since all I can do is vote once and then pray... I'll enjoy the holiday.
PS In case you're wondering, I'm voting Yamina ב that's Naftali Bennett's party. Here's the reason why.
*Actually the calculation is a bit more complicated, since not all parties get enough votes to have representation.