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Israel: Netanyahu on Track for 5th Term in Office

HeadlineApr 10, 2019

In Israel, as votes continue to be tallied, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears to be on the verge of securing a record fifth term in office. Netanyahu and his main challenger, ex-military chief Benny Gantz, both claimed victory in the tight race Tuesday night as the Likud and the newly formed Blue and White party both won 35 seats in the Knesset. Netanyahu, however, has a clearer path to forming a coalition government with other far-right parties. Tuesday’s election came just days after Netanyahu vowed to annex illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank if he won. On Election Day, Netanyahu’s Likud party placed 1,200 hidden cameras at polling stations in Arab neighborhoods in what was widely viewed as an attempt to intimidate potential voters. Turnout was reportedly lower than usual in the neighborhoods. Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza are not Israeli citizens and cannot vote. Many Palestinians and Arab Israelis argued there was no real choice in this election as both front-running parties have repeatedly expressed anti-Palestinian and anti-Arab views and policies. We’ll have more on the elections and the significance of the results after headlines with Palestinian attorney Diana Buttu and Israeli journalist and activist Haggai Mattar.

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