According to exit polls, Benjamin Netanyahu, a former Israeli prime minister, is likely to win on Tuesday.
His right-wing bloc holds a tiny majority of seats over his rivals according to the polls, which predict the outcome before the actual results are announced.
BBC News reports that, with such a victory, Mr. Netanyahu, who was overthrown last year after 12 years in power, would make a stunning comeback.He assured his fans in Jerusalem, “We are close to a tremendous win.
Many people viewed the election as a vote for or against Mr. Netanyahu’s reelection.
Official results, which could still produce a different outcome, are expected in the coming hours.
His main rival, current Prime Minister Yair Lapid, said “nothing” was yet decided.
But as the polls were announced at 22:00 (20:00 GMT), upbeat music burst from loud speakers at the central venue of Mr Netanyahu’s Likud party in Jerusalem.
Who’s Mr. Netanyahu?
Mr Netanyahu, 73, is one of Israel’s most controversial political figures, loathed by many on the centre and left but adored by Likud’s grassroots supporters.
He is a firm supporter of Israel’s settlement-building project in the West Bank, occupied since the 1967 Middle East war. Settlements there are considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.
He opposes the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as a solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict – a formula supported by most of the international community, including the Biden administration in the US.
Mr Netanyahu is also currently on trial for alleged bribery, fraud and breach of trust – charges he fiercely denies. His possible partners in a Likud-led coalition government have said they would reform the law, in a move which would bring a halt to his trial.
Israel TV exit polls suggest Mr Netanyahu’s bloc will command 61 or 62 seats in the 120-seat knesset (parliament).
“It looks like we can be optimistic and have some hope we are about to get a stable coalition with Bibi [Mr Netanyahu] as the prime minister,” said 34-year-old Likud supporter David Adler, from Jerusalem.
“But as it’s been in the past three years, nothing is sure until the coalition is set up,” he cautioned.
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