Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has won the Israeli national election with a tight margin, securing a record fifth term in office, state TV Channel 12 said on Wednesday.
With 97 percent of the votes counted after voting on Tuesday, 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.
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.
Addressing a jubilant gathering of supporters early on Wednesday, Netanyahu praised his supporters for an “almost inconceivable achievement”.
“I was very moved that the nation of Israel once again entrusted me for the fifth time, and with even greater trust,” said Netanyahu before vowing to establish a right-wing nationalist government.
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