Israel's president says he has decided to give opposition leader Benny Gantz the first opportunity to form a new government following an inconclusive national election this month.
Surveys conducted by three Israeli networks gave Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party between 36 and 37 seats in Israel's 120-member parliament.
Benjamin Netanyahu says annexation of strategically crucial Jordan Valley and other parts of occupied West Bank was his top priority among "four major immediate missions," in interview ahead of Monday's election.
Opposition politicians accuse the Israeli prime minister of putting his personal interests above those of the state.
Israeli politicians no longer have the Palestinians or Arabs to unite voters against and are forced to face battle the country's internal contradictions and deep polarisation.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin gives PM Benjamin Netanyahu up to six weeks to form a coalition, and If he fails, his main challenger Benny Gantz will likely be given a chance. Gantz rules out joining government with PM facing indictment.
Israel's Arab-dominated Joint List party, backed Benny Gantz to form a new government, making Gantz's bloc of supporters larger than that of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
With over 90 percent of votes counted, challenger Benny Gantz’s centrist Blue and White party captures 33 seats in 120-seat parliament, to 32 seats for PM Netanyahu’s conservative Likud. Mainly Arab Joint List alliance bags 13 seats.
Israel's parliament voted to dissolve itself early, sending the country to an unprecedented second snap election this year as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a governing coalition before a midnight deadline.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was on a clearer path to victory in Israel's general election after updated exit polls showed him gaining ground on his main rival, despite corruption allegations against him.
Last authorised opinion polls suggest PM Benjamin Netanyahu heading for next term in office. Meanwhile, the country's Arab minority is being urged to boycott election over Israel's controversial "nation-state" law.
A key coalition partner in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government said that he would not withdraw his party, keeping the coalition intact despite a crisis triggered by a violent flare-up with Gaza militants.
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