All votes counted in Israeli election: Likud 36 seats

15 April, 2019, 06:42 | Author: Sue Mclaughlin
  • Benjamin Netanyahu

The triumph of Benjamin Netanyahu in winning an unprecedented fifth term as Prime Minister of Israel, making him the longest serving premier beating founder father David Ben-Gurion, is no mean feat.

Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner is expected shortly to unveil a plan for the Middle East.

Born close to or after the 1993 Oslo peace accords between the Israelis and Palestinians, and coming of age during the second Palestinian "intifada", Israel's young people take a harder line on security and peace than older generations.

Netanyahu appeared all but certain to form the next government, as the final tally showed his Likud party capturing 36 seats in the 120-seat Knesset, edging past Blue and White, which got 35 seats.

The president added an optimistic prediction for progress towards peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

In remarks to reporters at the White House, Trump said Netanyahu's re-election improved the chances of peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Netanyahu said that, in the telephone call, he also thanked Trump for designating Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization on Monday.

A Likud election campaign billboard, depicting U.S. President Donald Trump shaking hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is seen at a main entrance to Tel Aviv, Israel February 5, 2019.

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"He's been a great ally and he's a friend, I'd like to congratulate him", Trump said of Netanyahu.

Sputnik: We have 99 percent* of the votes counted; what do you think? You're right, I believe that the new government is going to try to approve the so-called French law, which in a way tries to stop all the investigations as long as Netanyahu is the prime minister; but I'm not sure that he will succeed, it's a possibility.

Israel's attorney general has signaled that he's preparing to file corruption charges against Netanyahu.

Netanyahu's most immediate problem is to find a way to protect himself from the slew of criminal investigations and potential corruption charges that have been attached to his name in recent months. One of the major factors hastening Mr. Netanyahu's victory was the low voter turnout among Israel's Arab residents, which was below 50%.

Trump almost always backs Netanyahu and has given him a series of wins: Moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, recognizing Israel's annexation of the Golan Heights, taking tough steps against Iran. Palestinians seek a state there and in the Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Netanyahu's strength doesn't come from getting many more votes than his main challenger, retired Gen. Benny Gantz.

"Regrettably", Ashrawia said, "Israelis overwhelmingly voted for candidates that are unequivocally committed to entrenching the status quo of oppression, occupation, annexation, and dispossession in Palestine and escalating the assault on Palestinian national and human rights".

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