Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to fight on even as exit polls showed him tied or lagging behind his main opposition rival, with a slim chance of assembling the coalition needed for a fifth term.
“We won’t have and can’t have a government dependent on anti-Zionist Arab parties,” Netanyahu proclaimed as the crowd of his supporters booed and chanted 'we don't want unity.'
Israel needs a strong government, a stable government, a Zionist government, a government that is committed to Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.
The embattled PM stopped short of claiming a victory – or conceding his defeat – saying instead “we are waiting for the real results. One thing is clear: Israel is at a historic juncture.”
#IsraElex19v2: In his speech at #Likud HQ, #Israeli PM Benjamin #Netanyahu has accused the #media of hosting a biased campaign towards him.— Paula Slier (@PaulaSlier_RT) September 18, 2019
He has stated that #Israel needs a strong and #Zionist government, while some in the crowd chant that they don’t want a #UnityGovernment.
Netanyahu’s chief rival for the premiership, retired General Benjamin ‘Benny’ Gantz, gave his followers a cheerful “mission accomplished” speech in the early hours of Wednesday, encouraged by the exit polls.
“We will wait for the actual results, but the way things stand, we've fulfilled our mission," he said at Blue and White HQ in Tel Aviv, adding that Netanyahu “did not succeed in his mission.”
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Negotiations to form a national unity government are under way, Gantz said. Blue and White has previously said they were open to such a government with Likud, but only without Netanyahu anywhere in the picture.
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