Israel's Netanyahu wins re-election, main challenger concedes defeat

Israelis head to polls as Prime Minister Netanyahu seeks fifth term

Israelis head to polls as Prime Minister Netanyahu seeks fifth term

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clinched a clear victory early Wednesday morning in Israel's general elections.

Both Netanyahu and Gantz declared victory in the tightly contested election on Tuesday, with both camps claiming their win was "clear" - but the right-wing bloc managed to achieve the minimum 60 seats required to form a coalition in the Knesset, the 120-seat Israeli parliament.

Netanyahu - a key ally of Trump - has promised to annex illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank is re-elected, further jeopardising hopes for a peace deal.

Overnight, with fewer of the votes counted, Blue and White still appeared to be ahead by one seat and Gantz projected optimism that he would be tasked with building a coalition.

President Donald Trump recently hosted Netanyahu - who is up for re-election this year - at the White House.

The attorney general has announced he intends to charge Netanyahu with bribery, fraud and breach of trust pending an upcoming hearing.

More than 40 parties vied in Tuesday's election with turnout hit around 61% of eligible voters. They wanted a different path, and we laid it out. The near-final results showed it deadlocked with Likud at 35 seats.

During a tight and ugly election campaign Mr Netanyahu accused Mr Gantz of conspiring with Arab parties to topple him, leading to suggestiong that the leader was demonizing the country's Arab community. "These elections have a clear victor and a clear loser". Legal experts expect at least some charges to be filed, which could set the stage for a short term in office for Netanyahu and another round of elections soon.

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Choupo-Moting, who had scored the opener, gently nudged the ball onto the post before it was cleared in what finished a 2-2 draw. Thomas Tuchel's side will now have to wait until next Sunday's game away at Lille to seal their sixth title in seven years.

"Presently, Benjamin Netanyahu's party "Likud" also has 35 seats in the parliament, but its natural allies are "Shas" party with eight mandates", he said.

In a press conference outside his home, Bennett said, "All my life, I've given all I could for the sake of this good people".

The results would seem to leave President Reuven Rivlin, who must ask one of the candidates to form a government, with little choice but to pick Netanyahu.

Benjamin Netanyahu will become Israel's prime minister again, if all the indications are right. If his victory is confirmed, the man widely known as Bibi will surpass in July Israel's founding father David Ben Gurion as the country's longest-serving prime minister. Trump also caused controversy previous year when he recognized divided Jerusalem as Israel's capital and moved the US Embassy there from Tel Aviv - a move which many Palestinians and activists felt made any of Trump's "peace" efforts in the region dead on arrival.

[A] lways, our president from Eisenhower - from all the way up to W.they've always played this other role as honest broker in the region so they can bring peace and play a bigger global role than just being buddies with Israel.

"Should Netanyahu emerge as the leader, I hope the worldwide community will speak out against the far right positions that he expressed during the election such as the annexation of Palestinian occupied territory".

True to form, Netanyahu issued a controversial pledge only three days before the election, saying he planned to annex Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank should he win.

In order to appeal to his religious and ultranationalist parties, Netanyahu veered sharply right on the campaign trail with attacks on Arab politicians, the media and the judiciary.

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