Benjamin Netanyahu sweeps Israel election, says will form 'strong govt'

Deflating the claims made by an array of exit polls, Benjamin Netanyahu was on way to become the longest-serving prime minister of Israel, smoothly clinching a win over the much-touted rivals – the Zionist camp in Tuesday's parliamentary elections.

Benjamin Netanyahu sweeps Israel election, says will form 'strong govt'

Jerusalem: Deflating the claims made by an array of exit polls, Benjamin Netanyahu was on way to become the longest-serving prime minister of Israel, smoothly clinching a win over the much-touted rivals – the Zionist camp in Tuesday's parliamentary elections.

Exit polls in Israel had predicted it to be a knife-edge election with some giving the Zionist camp a lead over Netanyahu's Likud. However, the election results seem to be saying a different story and Netanyahu is best-suited to form a ring-wing coalition government.

According to the latest reports, with nearly all votes counted Netanyahu's Likud Party has won over 30 seats in the 120-member Knesset, while the Zionist Union led by Isaac Herzog remains languishing at 24 seats. The second runner up was the Joint List of Arab parties, which got 13 seats.

Netanyahu's own party Likud has issued a statement saying that the process of government formation will start without delay and will be finished within two to three weeks. The statement added that smaller Right-wing parties had already been consulted to for the coalition.

Netanyahu, who is Israel's ninth PM, has been retaining the post since March 2009 and will now become the longest-serving leader of Israel.

While Netanyahu stressed on his policy of national security by professing his strong refusal to a Palestinian State and a US-Iran nuclear deal, the opposition camp scoffed at him for having ignored the socio-economic aspect of Israelis.

Zionist Unions's Isaac Herzog tried to convince people of Netanyahu's failures by alluring them with assurances of socioeconomic welfare.

However, when over 5.8 million Israelis cast their ballots at over 10000 polling stations across the country, they seemed to ignore all anti-Netanyahu remarks and catapulting him to another victory.

After the results started trickling in, Netanyahu called it as a “great victory for Likud against all odds”.

Addressing supporters, he said, "I am proud of the Israeli people, who recognized what's important … and stood up for real security, economy and social welfare, which we are committed to”.

Netanyahu also promised to lower “housing prices & the cost of living”.

Herzog called Netanyahu and congratulated him over election victory.

"Nothing has changed, we will keep fighting for a just society," he added according to a report in the Haaretz. 

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