Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won reelection during the country’s national elections on Tuesday, April 9. This will be Netanyahu’s fifth term as Israel’s head of government since becoming prime minister in 2009 and briefly between 1996 and 1999.
With Netanyahu’s conservative Likud party winning 35 seats and his opponent, Benny Gantz of the moderate centrist Blue and White party, winning 35 seats, it became the Jewish majority country’s closest election in recent times. Likud will form a coalition with right-wing to far-right political parties. Gantz’s Blue and White party will form an opposition coalition with the center-left Labor Party, the leftist Meretz party, and minor Arab parties.
Despite multiple investigations and allegations of domestic corruption, Netanyahu’s push against the Two-State Solution between the Palestinians, military responses to the Gaza Strip, and his relationship with U.S. President Donald Trump made him more appealing to voters nationwide. Netanyahu also promised his supporters that he would consider annexing the Palestinian Arab majority West Bank, which would further increase regional tensions.
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