Sep 18, 2019 06:42 UTC
  • Netanyahu refuses to concede as Gantz leads in Israel’s general election

Exit polls released by Israeli television channels show that Zionist regime’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has failed to secure a ruling majority in the general election.

According to Press TV, three separate exit surveys released on Tuesday showed that Netanyahu's right-wing Likud is projected to garner between 31 and 32 parliament seats each out of 120, while his main challenger Benny Gantz’s centrist Blue and White Alliance is leading with 32 Knesset seats.

In all three polls, the Joint List of Arab parties is projected to have the third most seats, while far-right Yamina Party, led by Ayelet Shaked, is projected to win 6-7 seats.

Former Minister of War Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beitenu Party is expected to receive between eight and nine seats, according to the polls.

With neither Netanyahu nor Gantz appear to have gained a 61-seat majority, the two are likely to head to deliberations with President Reuven Rivlin, who will determine which of them gets the mandate to try and form a governing coalition. 

Speaking to a half-empty hall at the Likud campaign headquarters in Tel Aviv, Netanyahu vowed to form a “strong and Zionist” administration, warning his supporters of a “dangerous and anti-Zionist” regime.

The Israeli prime minister added he already began negotiations with Likud’s potential coalition partners on the right wing. “They all committed to pursue our goals together. This election has been one of the toughest we’d known,” he said.

Gantz said Tuesday overnight he would work to establish a unity administration.

Gantz went on to say that exit polls show Netanyahu failed in his reelection bid. “This is the start of the journey to mend the Israeli society,” he commented.

Lieberman, for his part, called for a unity administration with his party, Likud and Blue and White as he addressed supporters, saying Israel was facing an "emergency".