(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has claimed victory in Israel’s general election, with early results putting him ahead of main rival Benny Gantz.
With almost a quarter of votes counted, Mr Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party has secured 28.73%, the Central Election Committee (CEC) says.
Mr Gantz’s centrist Blue and White alliance is trailing with 23.26%.
However, exit polls suggest Likud and its right-wing allies might fall just short of a majority in parliament.
The Joint List – a bloc of Arab parties – is currently in third place, with 12.36%.
Monday’s election was Israel’s third in less than a year. Neither of the two main party leaders was able to command a majority in the 120-seat parliament following the last two rounds.