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An indictment decision would follow a review hearing where Mr Netanyahu can be expected to argue he should be spared in the national interest.

(Trump's approval rating a year ago stood at 69 percent, a boost fueled at least in part by his decision to move America's embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.) The prime minister even approved a billboard in Tel Aviv showing himself shaking hands with the president in order to tout their close relationship.

"There are 120 MPs in the Israeli parliament, and in order to form a government, each of these parties should attract other parties to the coalition", he said.

His close ally President Donald Trump, who has swung USA policy sharply in Israel's favour and openly backed Netanyahu, said the prime minister's victory gives the White House's long-awaited peace plan a "better chance".

JERUSALEM, April 10 (Xinhua) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his main challenger, Benny Gantz, were tied in the parliamentary elections on Wednesday morning after 97.4 percent of the votes were counted, official figures by Israeli Central Election Committee showed.

In Rosh Ha'ayin, Blue and White trailed behind the Likud with 33.9% to 34.8%. He excoriated Gantz as a friend to Israel's 20-percent Arab minority and the darling of liberal media - codes, to many conservative ears, for dangers to the Jewish state. 2020 presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke called Netanyahu a "racist" who has sided with a "far-right racist party" on Sunday.

Two weeks before the election, Trump signed a proclamation, with Netanyahu at his side at the White House, recognising Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights captured from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war. "I'm very touched that, for the fifth time, the people of Israel have believed in me", Netanyahu said Tuesday night at the Likud party election headquarters in Tel Aviv.

Netanyahu said he told Trump "there shouldn't be the removal of even one settlement".

Netanyahu had run in the polls while facing charges of corruption and bribery in three cases.

US Attorney General Expected to Face Mueller Report Questions
Mueller wrote that "while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him". The attorney general has also said that Mueller did not reach a conclusion on whether the president obstructed justice.

"They have said no to peace and yes to the occupation", he said.

"This rotating [premiership] agreement between Gantz and lapid was ruinous and it assured that the ultra-Orthodox will ... recommend Netanyahu".

But even then Netanyahu appeared best placed to form a coalition, with both parties falling far short of an outright majority.

Second, the election confirms that the Trump administration will give both unstintingly and enthusiastically to the Israeli right.

In a rare turn during the campaign toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Netanyahu alarmed Palestinians by pledging to annex Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank if re-elected.

On Tuesday, he continually warned the Likud was at risk of losing as a result of what he said was low turnout among supporters, claims widely seen as a bid to motivate right-wing voters.

Netanyahu had campaigned in the election against ex-military chief Benny Gantz.

Arab politicians called it an attempt at intimidation, while Netanyahu said cameras would prevent fraud.

[A] lways, our president from Eisenhower - from all the way up to W.they've always played this other role as honest broker in the region so they can bring peace and play a bigger global role than just being buddies with Israel.