Hundreds of thousands of Israelis flocked to parks and nature reserves on Tuesday, taking advantage of the sabbatical brought by Israel's fourth election in two years.
Despite unusually high temperatures and a dust storm that covered the country with sand from the Sinai Desert, many chose to spend the day on the beach and in the restaurants and malls that were shut until last month due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A relatively low turnout of voters was reported, with many saying they were tired of the political stalemate.
The country is split in its support of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been accused of forcing elections on the citizens in his efforts to secure a parliamentary majority that would enable him to escape his trial on charges of corruption.
Maya, a 33-year old resident of Tel Aviv who took advantage of the day off and warm weather to head to the beach, said it was frustrating to vote again after three earlier elections in the past couple of years.
"Its always the same thing," she said. "So much of the public's money is wasted on these elections."
Maya said she would be voting but did not expect the results to be any different this time.
"It is important to come out and vote," she said. "Something has to change. There must be a limit of two terms for the prime minister and that is why I am voting."
Also enjoying Tel Aviv's beach were Keren, 20, Amit, 21, and Dean, 19.
"I voted in the past two elections," Keren said. "It is unnerving and frustrating to vote this often. I think we may have to do this again this summer because politicians refuse to work together and there seems to be no solution," she said.
Amit was hoping for a candidate that would put an end to the chaos.
"I feel a sense of despair," he said. "At least we have a day off to hang out with friends."
Frieda who is 72 years old, chose to take a walk around Tel Aviv after casting her vote.
"I was sure of my choice," she said. "I think the government must care for the citizens and not itself. There is a sense of despair, but everyone still hopes there would be a change."
Edna, 67, retired recently. She voted early and then decided to drive into the heart of Tel Aviv.
"I hope everyone votes today so that we can start dealing with important issues such as healthcare and education," she said.
The city's open-air Carmel market was crowded with shoppers and visitors.
Itzik, who owns a clothing stall at the market said he was too swamped to leave to cast his vote.
"I'm too exhausted to vote again for the fourth time in two years," he said. "I'm sick of it and may not vote this time round. I've been disappointed before and feel that we will have another election this summer," he said.
Avner who has a vegetable stall in the market agreed.
"What can you do?" he said. "Israelis are split. We are broken."