Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has won the Israeli national election, securing a record fifth term in office.
If he forms a coalition government, Prime Minister Netanyahu will become the longest-serving prime minister in Israel’s disputed history.
With 96 percent of the votes counted, Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud won 37 of Knesset seats, against 36 for centrist Blue and White, headed by Netanyahu’s rival, former general Benny Gantz.
PM Benjamin Netanyahu has said he had already begun talks with prospective coalition allies.
Though neither party captured a ruling majority in the 120-member Knesset, the results, published eight hours after voting ended on Tuesday, put Netanyahu in a strong position to form a coalition government with right-wing factions.
Netanyahu claimed victory by saying “It is a night of colossal victory,” to a crowd of cheering supporters in a late-night speech at Likud headquarters while cautioning that “long night and possibly day” lay ahead awaiting official results.
However, as Benny Gantz has not conceded to Netanyahu he also claimed victory and promise of the formation of a coalition government. despite this Netyanyu he is on course to become the longest-serving Prime Minister in Israeli history.
Fireworks flared behind him as his wife Sara applauded and kissed him. “He’s a magician,” the crowd chanted.
He faces possible indictment in three graft cases and has denied wrongdoing in all three. According to the partial results, Likud won 5 more seats than in the previous election in 2015.
Political analysts cautioned it was too early to be certain of the outcome, with many hours to go before a final tally is in.
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