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Live updates: Israeli polls neck and neck

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Live updates: Israeli polls neck and neck
Exit polls put Gantz slightly ahead of Netanyahu, with the latter best placed to form government
Key Points
Netanyahu and Gantz both claim victory
Raam-Balad could miss out after Palestinian boycott
Bennett and Shaked struggling

Live Updates

Netanyahu primed to win: Exit polls
6 months ago

Exit polls from Israel's hotly contested election show that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud coalition edging a victory over his rival, Benny Gantz.

The most recent exit polls show that the right-wing bloc is slated to get between 63-65 seats, a slight majority in the 120-member Knesset, Haaretz reported on Tuesday.

'I hope he loses': Bernie on Bibi
6 months ago

US senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders had some harsh words for Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday.

"When election time comes in Israel, he always tries going even further to the right by appealing to racism within Israel, I think it's unfortunate," Sanders said at a campaign rally for the Vermont senator.

"I'm not a great fan of his, and, frankly, I hope he loses his election," he added.

'It was very intense for me'
6 months ago

Osnat Mark, a new Likud candidate, looks like she's made the grade.

At the Likud HQ in Tel Aviv, she tells MEE: "I'm only 35th on the list of candidates, so I didn't think I had a realistic chance of getting a seat.

"But the hard work proved its worth, and in the end we will build a right-wing government with our natural partners."

Likud candidate Osnat Mark at her party's HQ in Tel Aviv (MEE)
Likud candidate Osnat Mark at her party's HQ in Tel Aviv (MEE)
Jubliation in Blue and White headquarters
6 months ago

There is a victorious atmosphere in the Blue and White headquarters in Tel Aviv, MEE's Noa Borstein reports.

One of the party's candidates, Gady Yavrkan, is confident Gantz can form a government.

"We had an extraordinary feeling. Even the polls didn't predict these numbers," he tells MEE.

"I don't believe the bullshit that we won't be able to form a government. The will of the voters is the one making the decision."

Gady Yavrkan, left, celebrates with Blue and White supporters (MEE)
Gady Yavrkan, left, celebrates with Blue and White supporters (MEE)

Elsewhere, Tsion, a Blue and White supporter, says his work paid off.

"We worked so hard and we believed it was fate that we would win," he says. "The three generals will give Bibi a good fight."

Just 29 women expected to win seats
6 months ago

As MEE previously reported, women have been shockingly absent in this year's election campaigns.

National broadcaster Kan is now predicting that the number of female members of the Knesset will drop to 29 from 36. There are 120 seats in the Knesset.

“We have a lot more work to do,” Yifat Bitton, a candidate running for the Knesset with the Gesher party, told Middle East Eye. “The men clatter about in the mud of ego, and the discourse is all about who is ‘strong’ and ‘weak’.”

For more on the absence of women in this year's elections, take a look at this piece: Something is missing in the Israeli election: Women

Another term for Netanyahu?
6 months ago

He hoped to be Israel’s longest-serving prime minister. Now that dream looks like it could become a reality.

Read Middle East Eye's profile of the man who has defined recent Israeli history: Benjamin Netanyahu: Israel's great survivor on the verge of another escape act

Benjamin Netanyahu looks on the verge of another term (Reuters)
Benjamin Netanyahu looks on the verge of another term (Reuters)