Both Gantz and Netanyahu Declare Victory as Israeli Election Results Remain Unclear
Both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the Likud party and his main challenger, former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz of the Blue and White party, declared victory in Tuesday’s elections, despite exit polls showing variant results.
“The right-wing bloc led by Likud has won a clear victory,” Netanyahu said of the polls. “I thank the citizens of Israel for their trust. I will begin putting together a right-wing government with my natural partners tonight.”
Israel’s Channel 13 reports Gantz telling them, “We won! The people of Israel have had their say! Thank you to the thousands of activists and more than a million voters. These elections have a clear winner and a clear loser. Bibi promised 40 mandates and he lost big. The president sees the picture and must call on the winner to form the government! There is no other possibility!”
While the official vote has yet to be tallied, the exit polls showed an extremely close election taking place. Channel 13 and the Kan public broadcaster showed the two leading parties tied at 36 seats, while Channel 12 showed Gantz defeating Netanyahu 37-33.
However, in terms of the left- and right-wing Knesset blocs, the first two polls showed a clear advantage for the right, while the Channel 12 poll showed a statistical tie.