Benjamin Netanyahu secures Israel election, local media reports

Head of the Blue White party Benny Gantz and his top allies Moshe Ya'alon Gabi Ashkenazi and Yair Lapid greet their party supporters following the release of election exit polls at the party headquarters in Tel Aviv

With the vast majority of votes counted in Israeli elections by Wednesday morning, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looked set to clinch a fifth term in office, outmaneuvering corruption charges and a strong challenger.

Should Netanyahu retain the helm, he will become the longest-serving Israeli prime minister in July, overtaking the country's founding father, David Ben-Gurion. With around 97 percent of all votes tallied, Likud has secured 26.27 percent of ballots, giving the party 25 seats in the 120-seat Knesset, according to the parliament's website. The former military chief Mr Gantz ran, essentially, as the man who was not Mr Netanyahu but could match him for "toughness" on security.

In fact, the outcome of Israel's elections essentially confirms what we knew.

Meanwhile, Gantz claimed victory Tuesday, after two out of three TV exit polls gave his centrist party the biggest showing in parliamentary seats.

Fireworks flared behind him as his wife Sara applauded and kissed him.

"It's a night of tremendous victory", Netanyahu told supporters early Wednesday, adding that he had already begun talking to fellow right-wing and religious parties about forming a coalition. However, the right-religious bloc that has supported Netanyahu in previous governments controls 65 seats, while the center-left that would support Gantz has only 55. But, neither party has enough seats to form a government on its own.

Rightwing Union leader MK Bezalel Smotrich on Tuesday night declared that his party would hold Netanyahu's feet to the fire on his sovereignty promise, even if all he had meant was to win the settlers' vote.

The contest was the political fight of Netanyahu's life.

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.

He engaged in populist rhetoric that critics said amounted to the demonisation of Arab Israelis and others.

Lok Sabha polls 2019 in Northeast Indian states
This is the first general election in the state after the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh in 2014. State Congress chief Raghuveera Reddy is contesting from Kalyandurg Assembly constituency.

But the right result and the near-success of newcomer Mr Gantz showed the country that there is a viable alternative to Mr Netanyahu's decade in power.

Arab politicians called it an attempt at intimidation, while Netanyahu said cameras would prevent fraud.

In the final days of the campaign, Netanyahu has vowed to annex Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank - a move that would quash any remaining hopes of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Benjamin Netanyahu has sought to portray himself as Israel's essential statesman. But some analysts believe that Washington's relatively less controversial Golan Heights recognition may have paved the way.

But Netanyahu also faces an ongoing criminal investigation.

By 8:00pm (1700 GMT), overall turnout was 61.3 per cent compared to 62.4 per cent at the same time in 2015 elections.

Hanan Ashrawi, a senior Palestinian official, said Israel chose to entrench "the status quo of oppression, occupation, annexation and dispossession".

Two of Netanyahu's potential allies, hawkish former Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman and economic-centric Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, have yet to formally confirm they would sit with Netanyahu and could emerge as wild cards.

He has been premier for a total of more than 13 years.

Related News:



Most liked

Ghosn defends himself in video
This reportedly cast another shadow of executive uncertainty which contributed to those who Ghosn claims conspired against him. Shareholders also approved the appointment of Renault's new chairman Jean-Dominique Senard in Ghosn's place.

Bernie Sanders: I don't take frontrunner status "all that seriously"
He said they will be released "certainly before" April 15 and added that President Donald Trump should do the same. Senators Elizabeth Warren of MA and Kirsten Gillibrand of NY have both released a decade of their own returns.

Google will let you use your Android phone to verify logins
To use the feature, you will need to setup 2-step verification on Gmail and follow the steps below to enable the feature. Google recommends registering a backup security key (either hardware token or phone), in case you lose your main one.

Sidelined DUP accuses May of 'humiliating' United Kingdom with Brexit delay talks
But the United Kingdom must not waste this time - allowing people to decide if they still want to leave is now imperative.

OnePlus 7 Pro real life image surfaces online, revealing key specifications
The OnePlus 7 Pro variant was also spotted on Bluetooth certification site, nearly confirming the arrival of this variant. However we have very little information apart from its Snapdragon 855 chipset and X50 modem giving it 5G capabilities.

Van Dijk admits he voted for Raheem Sterling as POTY
He told Dutch daily De Telegraaf: " Hopefully it [playing regularly alongside the defender] will happen soon ". Van Djik is helping his club side as they look to win the Premier League and Champions League .

Boeing records zero new MAX orders following global groundings
Boeing did not win any commercial orders for its 737 MAX jet in March following a second deadly crash involving the plane. Deliveries are financially important because that is when planemakers receive the bulk of money from airlines' purchases.

Magic vs. Celtics - Game Recap
After chasing Evan Fournier down the lane, he bumped into Magic center Nikola Vucevic and crashed to the ground, holding his side. Although he said that the five-year veteran looked sore, he was trying to walk while he was in the locker room.

‘Jeopardy!’ contestant shatters single-day winnings record
And this record-breaking number holds a special meaning for Holzhauer: his daughter was born on November 9, 2014 (aka 11/09/14). He'll face two new challengers Wednesday. 2019, and provided by Jeopardy Productions, Inc. shows James Holzhauer .

SpaceX Falcon Heavy On Track For Wednesday Launch
SpaceX issued a warning that Space Coast residents should expect several loud sonic booms as the rockets arrive back on Earth. You can watch the entire launch on SpaceX's live stream , with coverage starting about 20 minutes before lift-off.

Judge refuses bond for man accused of IS-inspired attack
For two years, the defendant has harbored "hatred" (in his words) for " disbelievers " who do not practice the Muslim faith. Family members filed a missing persons report after Henry walked away from his job during the middle of his shift March 26.

BARR'S BOMBSHELL: The Attorney General Says 'Spying Did Occur' During 2016 Campaign
Asked again about spying at the end of the hearing, Barr tempered his tone "I am not saying improper surveillance occurred". The FBI had placed confidential informants in direct contact with members of the campaign, according to reports.

Major winter storm headed toward Minnesota
How does this snowstorm compare to past years? Our central and northwestern mountains could pick up 8 to 16 inches of snow. Airlines, including Delta, United and Frontier, have offered travel waivers for customers in the path of the storm.

Israel's Netanyahu secures election victory
But with Trump's moves on Jerusalem and The Golan, the prime minister may feel emboldened to advocate for annexation. Trump called Netanyahu a "great ally" and "a friend", and characterized the campaign as "a well thought out race".

Vols' Barnes new target in UCLA search
Barnes is now 88-50 in his four seasons at the school and should have the Vols in NCAA Tournament contention again next season. The same source told ESPN that Barnes "loves living in East Tennessee and loves the people in Tennessee".