Israel's Netanyahu heading for a record fifth term as PM
- 9 months ago
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seems to be heading for a record fifth term in office as his challenger Benny Gantz threw in the towel following Wednesday’s elections.
With almost all votes counted, both men's parties are neck and neck, however a coalition between Mr Netanyahu's Likud and smaller right-wing and religious parties could form a 65 seat majority in the 120-seat Knesset.
US President Donald Trump congratulated Netanyahu on the feat, as he is likely to become Israel's longest-serving prime minister, overtaking the country's founding father David Ben-Gurion.
That being said, he is facing indictment in three corruption cases in the coming months.
Mr Gantz's deputy in the centrist party, Yair Lapid, has vowed to make the government's life difficult after the close result.
"We didn't win in this round. We will make Likud's life hell in the opposition."
In a late-night speech to supporters on Tuesday, Mr Netanyahu claimed a "colossal victory".
"It will be a right-wing government, but I will be prime minister for all," Mr Netanyahu told cheering supporters at Likud's headquarters.
"I'm very touched that the people of Israel gave me their vote of confidence for the fifth time, and an even bigger vote of confidence than previous elections.
"I intend to be the prime minister of all citizens of Israel. Right, left, Jews, non-Jews. All of Israel's citizens."