By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
JERUSALEM (Worthy News) – Prime Minister Yair Lapid of Israel has conceded he lost Israel’s election. His announcement on Thursday evening opened the path for opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu to return to power.
Netanyahu, who faces prosecution over corruption allegations that he denies, will likely lead what some analysts view as one of the most rightwing governments in Israel’s history.
The country’s broadcasters projected Netanyahu’s right-wing bloc to win a clear majority in the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament.
That could ensure that Israel, after five elections in less than four years, will have a cohesive majority government for the first time since 2019.
Lapid congratulated Netanyahu, who had been Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, and instructed his staff to prepare an organized transition of power. “The state of Israel comes before any political consideration,” Lapid said. “I wish Netanyahu success for the sake of the people of Israel and the state of Israel.”
Lapid, interim prime minister for the past four months, spoke after a near-final vote count showed Netanyahu securing a parliamentary majority with his religious and nationalist allies.
The outcome marked a significant comeback for the 73-year-old Netanyahu, who has been in office for 15 years in two separate stints.
“We have received a huge vote of confidence, and we are on the verge of a very big victory,” Netanyahu told his cheering supporters earlier at a victory rally this week in Jerusalem.
His return to power comes as 2022 is already on course to be the bloodiest year for Palestinians in the West Bank and east Jerusalem since 2005, claims the United Nations.
The U.N. claims 125 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire already this year, which Israel says resulted from provoked clashes.
Dozens of Israelis and foreigners were killed in Palestinian attacks this year, and the Jewish state faced a barrage of missiles fired by Palestinian militants, Israeli officials say.
U.S. President Joe Biden has indicated he is prepared to work with an Israeli government of any configuration at a time of concern about the future of Palestinian-Israeli relations.