Israel's Netanyahu falls short of parliamentary majority

AP , Thursday 5 Mar 2020

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures during a meeting with his nationalist allies and his Likud party members at the Knesset, Israeli Parliament, in Jerusalem, Wednesday, March 4, 2020. (AP)

The final results from Israel's election have confirmed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has again fallen short of a parliamentary majority with his hard-line allies.

The results, released late Thursday, signal further political deadlock. Monday's election was the country's third in less than a year. Previous elections in April and September also ended in deadlock.

Exit polls late Monday had indicated that Netanyahu's Likud Party, along with his religious and nationalist allies, had captured 60 seats, putting them on the cusp of a 61-seat governing majority. Netanyahu triumphantly declared a ``huge victory.''

Likud emerged as the largest single party, with 36 seats, according to the final results. But his right-wing bloc captured only 58 seats, well short of the hoped-for majority.

With Israel's opposition divided, the country appears to be heading into further deadlock, as Netanyahu prepares to go on trial for corruption charges with an unprecedented fourth straight election a possibility.

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