Benjamin Netanyahu Returns To Power After Israeli Election Win

Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has sealed his return to power after the final vote count from elections this week gave him and his far-right allies a clear majority in parliament.

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Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has sealed his return to power after the final vote count from elections this week gave him and his far-right allies a clear majority in parliament.

Results released by the electoral commission said that with 99 percent of votes counted, Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party had won 32 seats in Israel’s 120-seat parliament, the Knesset.

That combined with 18 for two ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties and 14 for the rising extreme-right alliance called Religious Zionism gave the bloc supporting Netanyahu 64 seats.

The parties backing centrist caretaker Prime Minister Yair Lapid won 51 seats, a definitive win for Netanyahu that spells an end to Israel’s unprecedented era of political deadlock, which forced five elections in less than four years.

The right-wing ex-premier has overseen multiple attacks on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Hours after his election win was confirmed, the Israeli army bombed the Gaza Strip after Palestinian fighters launched four rockets towards Israel.

One was intercepted and three others “exploded inside the Gaza strip”, the Israeli army said, confirming the first launches from the territory since a three day conflict in August between Israel and the Islamic Jihad armed group. No group immediately claimed Thursday’s launches.

Lapid called his rival Netanyahu to congratulate him on Thursday, and told “his entire office to prepare an organised transition of power”, a statement from his office said.

The result sets Netanyahu up to form what may be the most extreme right-wing government in Israeli history.

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