Great Victory: PM Netanyahu defeats left-wing with larger bloc

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the right-wing won on Tuesday in Israel’s third election in less than a year, after television exit polls showed him just a seat short of a governing majority in parliament.

Israel’s three main TV channels projected in exit polls that Netanyahu’s rightist Likud and like-minded parties would capture 60 of parliament’s 120-seats, just one short of a majority. In an updated exit poll, Israel’s Channel 13 dropped the figure to 59.

A Likud spokesman said the prime minister would deliver a late-night victory speech at the party’s election headquarters in Tel Aviv.

Ahead of the address, Netanyahu wrote on Twitter: “We won thanks to our belief in our path and thanks to the people of Israel.”

A win for Netanyahu after inconclusive ballots in April and September would be a testimony to the political durability of Israel’s longest-serving leader.

It would also pave the way for the right-wing to make good on his pledge to annex, after the election, Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley, under a peace plan presented by President Trump.