JERUSALEM — Israeli parliamentary elections on Tuesday resulted in a virtual deadlock for a fourth time in the past two years, exit polls indicated, leaving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with an uncertain future and the country facing the prospect of continued political gridlock.

The exit polls on Israel’s three main TV stations indicated that both Netanyahu and his religious and nationalist allies, along with an anti-Netanyahu group of parties, both fell short of the parliamentary majority required to form a new government. That left Naftali Bennett, leader of the small nationalist Yamina party, as the potential kingmaker, though even that was not certain.

The election was seen as a referendum on Netanyahu’s polarizing leadership style, and the initial results showed that the country remains as deeply divided as ever, with an array of small sectarian parties dominating the parliament.