Netanyahu wins again, but victory may be bitter

Netanyahu wins again, but victory may be bitter

Netanyahu wins again, but victory may be bitter

A final count of election ballots on Thursday granted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party an additional seat in parliament, making it the largest faction in the Knesset and punctuating the Israeli leader's victory. The Trump administration has said it will unveil a Middle East peace plan after this election.

The talks at the president's official Jerusalem residence will kick off with Netanyahu's Likud party, followed by the Blue and White alliance of his defeated centrist challenger, former military man Benny Gantz.

Trump told reporters at the White House that Netanyahu's re-election improved the chances of peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

When Gantz and his party conceded the election this week, they said they would fight Netanyahu in parliament and, one party leader said, "in 2020".

Confetti falls as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara stand on stage after Netanyahu spoke following the announcement of exit polls in Israel's parliamentary election at the party headquarters in Tel Aviv, Israel on April 10, 2019.

It would be Netanyahu's record fifth term as premier.

"He's been a great ally and he's a friend, I'd like to congratulate him", Trump said of Netanyahu. "It may be a little early but I'm hearing that he's won it and won it in good fashion", Trump told reporters in Washington. Whilst this does not appear to have damaged his results in the election, it could seriously compromise his future, forcing him to dedicate precious time and efforts to emerging unscathed from the bribery, fraud and breach of trust cases opened against him by the attorney general, Avichai Mendelblit.

The election was seen as a referendum on the veteran prime minister, who has built a reputation as guarantor of Israel's security and economic growth, but whose divisive right-wing populism and alleged corruption led to calls for change. But the term could also be Netanyahu's shortest, as corruption investigations cast a growing shadow over the right wing of Israeli politics.

No political party in Israel's more than 70-year history has ever won a majority entirely alone and Netanyahu faces a choice between forming a new coalition of right-wing and religious parties, or a grand alliance with the centre.

The Palestinians demand a full return to the borders that existed before the 1967 war when Israel seized the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. Mr. Netanyahu defended the practice, saying cameras helped guarantee a "legitimate" vote.

"Regrettably", Ashrawia said, "Israelis overwhelmingly voted for candidates that are unequivocally committed to entrenching the status quo of oppression, occupation, annexation, and dispossession in Palestine and escalating the assault on Palestinian national and human rights". We are talking about no less than 400 settlements (housing at least 400,000 settlers), all deemed illegal under global law, as they violate the law of occupation.

Related news