JERUSALEM (Worthy News)– As voting ended in Israel’s Knesset elections Tuesday night, TV exit polls showed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu well placed to retain the premiership, with his Likud party neck and neck with rival Isaac Herzog’s Zionist Union but better positioned to build a coalition. Netanyahu hailed a Likud victory, though Herzog refused to concede, the Times of Israel reported.
Netanyahu claimed a victory “against all odds” and promised to form a new government without delay. But Herzog also said he would make “every effort” to build a coalition. Either will likely need the support of Moshe Kahlon, whose new Kulanu party captured nine or 10 seats, according to polls. Kahlon, whose campaign focused almost entirely on bread-and-butter economic issues, refused to take sides, but he is a former Likud minister.
As the results were announced on the nation’s three major TV stations, celebrations erupted at Likud’s campaign headquarters in Tel Aviv. “Against all odds we obtained a great victory for the Likud,” Netanyahu told the gathering. “Now we must form a strong and stable government that will ensure Israel’s security and welfare,” he added, in comments aimed at Kahlon. — [wp_colorbox_media url=”http://www.timesofisrael.com/exit-polls-show-netanyahu-set-to-retain-leadership-of-israel/” type=”iframe” hyperlink=”Source”]