Israel election: Netanyahu claims victory after exit polls show narrow lead

(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.

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