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With around 95 percent of the vote counted, both Netanyahu's Likud party and Gantz's Blue and White were tipped to win 35 seats in Israel's 120-member Knesset, or parliament.

Both camps quickly claimed victory.

As their elections were wrapping up yesterday it was obvious that it was going to be a close race, with everyone watching to see how many seats in the Knesset would be held by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party and how many Benny Gantz's Blue and White party could pick up.

One exit poll showed a possible tie between the right- and left-wing blocs, meaning that Gantz had an opportunity to replace Netanyahu as prime minister.

"We won! The Israeli public has had their say!"

However, the biggest mistake for Gantz is that he chose to have a rotation agreement [as prime minister] with Blue and White cofounder Yair Lapid, former finance minister and TV personality. "These elections have a clear victor and a clear loser".

Netanyahu and his main challenger Gantz were quick to claim victory in the elections.

He thanked the US President for his "tremendous support for Israel".

With Netanyahu's re-election, he's expected to form a coalition with the New Right Party.

DeMarcus Lawrence, Cowboys have agreed on deal worth more than $100 million
The sides had until July 15 to work out a long-term contract after the club used the franchise tag on its best pass rusher again. His rookie year was hampered by a foot injury suffered in training camp, but he had two sacks in two playoff games.

The attorney general has announced he intends to indict him for bribery, fraud and breach of trust pending a hearing in the coming weeks. "We can be proud of ourselves, and we will be", the former IDF Chief of Staff said confidently.

A close result in the election would put smaller parties in a powerful position, even turning marginal political figures into kingmakers.

The election has emerged as a referendum on Netanyahu and his 13 years overall in power, with the existential questions facing Israel rarely being discussed in the campaign.

Likud, which gained five more seats compared with the 2015 elections, needs 61 seats to form the government.

No one party has ever won a ruling majority in the 120-seat Knesset, and building a parliamentary coalition - which could take weeks - will ultimately determine the victor.

The outcome affirmed Israel's continued tilt to the right and further dimmed hopes of a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"I have already started talks with the leaders of our right-wing parties, and nearly all of them have publicly declared that they will recommend me to form the government, and will do so to our president", Netanyahu said. "Netanyahu's Likud party provided activists with 1,200 hidden cameras "to monitor" Arab polling stations - a move that prompted Israel's Central Elections Committee to file a police complaint". Netanyahu has called the Israeli probes a "witch hunt", echoing his good friend, U.S. President Donald Trump, who used the same words to describe the investigation of his 2016 election campaign.

"Netanyahu gathered all of the extremists and cannibalized his partners", Gantz continued. Along with two other former military chiefs on his ticket, Gantz has attacked Netanyahu for failing to halt rocket fire from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

"Israelis have voted to preserve the status quo". It seems clear that Netanyahu believed the timing was right-sending voters to polls before any indictments were brought against him, and with a message he could sell to the electorate. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.