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World News: Netanyahu, Gantz Claim Victory In Israeli Closely-Fought Parliamentary Elections

World News: Netanyahu, Gantz Claim Victory In Israeli Closely-Fought Parliamentary Elections

The Blue and White party, headed by former army chief of staff Benny Gantz, drew even with Netanyahu's Likud party, but the incumbent prime minister is poised to form a government with his larger bloc of allies.

Almost complete results in the tight election put Mr Netanyahu in position to form a narrow parliamentary majority with a coalition of right-wing and religious parties, allowing him to become Israel's longest-serving prime minister.

Buttu said that for as long as Netanyahu has been prime minister, the Palestinian Authority has been urging the worldwide community to intervene during the bombing of Gaza, construction of settlements, demolition of Palestinian homes, passage of the nation-state law and regarding the annexation of the West Bank.

Netanyahu will likely focus his efforts on getting guarantees from his coalition partners to continue to back him if he is indicted, and perhaps find a way to grant him immunity from prosecution.

Netanyahu denies any wrongdoing and will have the opportunity to plead his case at a pre-trial hearing against the filing of potential bribery and fraud charges.

USA officials have so far only revealed vague outlines of what the plan might propose, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggested it could break abruptly with precedent.

The latest results indicate that Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked's the New Right party has received some 127,000 votes, putting them some 4,300 votes (and 0.11%) below the 3.25% threshold and making them the only party with a chance to still enter the 21st Knesset.

But it's just as true that neither Netanyahu's biggest rival in these elections, ex-military chief Benny Gantz, or any other leading Israeli politician would be able to adopt a fundamentally different stance towards the Palestinians and neighboring Arab countries.

Another big victor in this election is Israeli democracy itself.

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You work so hard to get into those Champions League places and we're working now to get third this season. We cheered and then we got on with training, but at least we knew who was in front of us.

Under Netanyahu's watch, Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital and moved the US Embassy there, withdrew from the nuclear deal with Iran, endorsed Israeli control of the Golan Heights and officially designated Tehran's Revolutionary Guard a terrorist group.

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".

Most of the votes have been counted and the two main parties - Likud and Blue and White - are virtually tied for seats in the parliament. He said he had already begun talks with prospective coalition allies.

Netanyahu has portrayed himself as a master-statesman and highlighted his relations with (mostly) populist and anti-liberal world leaders.

The vote had always been expected to be close and lead to frantic negotiations to form a coalition, even with Netanyahu facing potential corruption charges.

Ahmed Majdalani, an aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said the Palestinians will seek the help of the worldwide community to try to block any such plans. Netanyahu, however, has a clearer path to forming a coalition government with other far-right parties.

If Mr Netanyahu is re-elected he would be the nation's longest-serving prime minister. 2020 presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke called Netanyahu a "racist" who has sided with a "far-right racist party" on Sunday.

His comments were an apparent reference to Netanyahu's recent pledge to annex Jewish settlements in the West Bank if he wins the election.


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