MSNBC's Chris Matthews Did Not Take Netanyahu's Win Well

Israelis head to polls as Prime Minister Netanyahu seeks fifth term

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to be headed toward re-election early Wednesday, as exit polls and partial results showed him edging ahead of his main competitor in a tight race that was seen as a referendum on the long-serving leader.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday did not offer a decisive answer to a question from Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md), member of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee, as to whether or not the USA administration still supports a Palestinian state after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had pledged to impose Israeli sovereignty on the Jewish settlements of Judea and Samaria. Gantz's Blue and White party said in a statement.

Netanyahu celebrated his projected win Tuesday night with scores of supporters who were waving President Trump flags, aware of their longtime friendship.

Israel's Attorney General Avichai-Mandelblit has announced his intention to indict Netanyahu for bribery and breach of trust in three separate cases, pending a hearing.

Gantz, who had declared victory on election night, said Wednesday his party would "respect the decision of the people and we will respect the decision of the president".

With 97.4 per cent of the vote counted, Likud and its traditional political allies were in command of a 65-55 majority in parliament.

USA officials have only revealed vague outlines of what the plan might propose, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has suggested it could break abruptly with precedent.

Other shock results include the fact that two high-profile parties could be out of the Knesset and might have failed to pass the 3.25% minimum threshold needed.

First Benny Gantz, Netanyahu's former military chief, appeared on stage calling himself "Israel's next prime minister".

More news: Attorney General Tells Senate: 'Spying Did Occur' Against Trump Campaign

Spivak noted that, taking into account all that has been stated, it can be said that the results of the Israeli elections are not yet clear, and the intriguing situation in the country will continue for another month and a half, until a government is finally formed.

Netanyahu has an advantage as almost all right-wing parties have declared their support to the Israeli leader, Israeli media reported.

"The common features of these parties are that, firstly, they are right-wing parties, I would even say the far-right-wing parties, which has been indicated even in their names", he said.

The results would seem to leave President Reuven Rivlin, who must ask one of the candidates to form a government, with little choice but to pick Netanyahu. But most of its support seems to have come at the expense of the venerable Labor and leftist Meretz parties, which both earned historic lows in the election.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu waves to his supporters after polls for Israel's general elections closed in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, April 10, 2019.

"Everybody said you can't have peace in the Middle East with Israel and Palestinians".

His comments were an apparent reference to Netanyahu's recent pledge to annex Jewish settlements in the West Bank if he wins the election. Any concession to Palestine would likely bring objections from Mr Netanyahu's far-right coalition allies.

In order to appeal to his religious and ultranationalist parties, Netanyahu veered sharply right on the campaign trail with attacks on Arab politicians, the media and the judiciary.

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