Netanyahu vows to be ‘everyone’s prime minister’ as results point to clear win

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Israel Hayom: Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to hold a narrow lead early Wednesday in Israeli elections, according to exit polls, potentially paving the way for a return to power after it appeared that at least one left-wing party failed to meet the necessary threshold to enter parliament.

The exit polls were preliminary, and the final results could change as votes are tallied. However, they pointed to a continued rightward shift in the Israeli electorate, further dimming hopes for peace with the Palestinians and setting the stage for possible conflict with the Biden administration and Israel’s supporters in the US.

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May those who love you be secure.” Psalm 122:6 NIV

Netanyahu vows to be 'everyone's prime minister' as results point to clear win

Tuesday’s election was Israel’s fifth in less than four years, with all of them focused largely on Netanyahu’s fitness to govern. On trial for a slew of corruption charges, Netanyahu is seen by supporters as the victim of a witch hunt and vilified by opponents as a crook and threat to democracy.

The vote, like past elections, was tight. The exit polls on Israel’s three major television stations all predicted that Netanyahu and his hard-line allies would capture 61 or 62 seats in parliament, giving him the majority in the 120-seat parliament needed to govern.

If Netanyahu’s allies emerge victorious, it could still take weeks of negotiations for a coalition government to be formed. Continued deadlock and a new round of elections are also a possibility.

Speaking in Jerusalem in the middle of the night, Netanyahu asked his supporters to have patience and said his Likud Party was “on the verge of a very big victory.”

Perhaps fearing that Arab voters would deny him victory, Netanyahu tweeted allegations of violence and vote tampering at Arab polling stations. He provided no evidence, and the country’s nonpartisan Central Elections Committee dismissed the “baseless rumors.”

Netanyahu later said he was “asking for total electoral purity because that’s the basis of democracy.”

Arabs make up some 20% of Israel’s population and have been a key factor in blocking Netanyahu in recent elections.

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