Israel elections: Netanyahu likely winner in tight race
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is likely to secure a record fifth term after almost complete results from Israel’s election suggest a new right-wing coalition.
His Likud party is expected to finish with a similar number of seats as ex-military chief Benny Gantz’s centrist Blue and White alliance.
But Likud and right-wing allies are set to be the largest bloc with 65 seats in the 120-seat Knesset, local media said.
The 69-year-old premier is facing corruption allegations.
However, the election result means he could become Israel’s longest-serving prime minister later this year, overtaking Israel’s founding father David Ben-Gurion.
Exit polls had predicted a tight race with no clear winner, prompting both Netanyahu and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz to claim victory on Tuesday night.
“It will be a right-wing government, but I will be prime minister for all,” Netanyahu told cheering supporters.
“I’m very touched that the people of Israel gave me their vote of confidence for the fifth time and an even bigger vote of confidence than previous elections.
“I intend to be the prime minister of all citizens of Israel. Right, left, Jews, non-Jews. All of Israel’s citizens.”
No party has ever won a majority in Israel’s 120-seat parliament and it has always had coalition governments, BBC reports.