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According to estimates, Netanyahu won the elections in Israel

This is a preliminary estimate, the final result could change in the next few hours, writes the AP agency. Netanyahu was Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, who resigned last year after 12 years in office.

The fifth parliamentary elections in three and a half years were held today in Israel: according to televised forecasts, Netanyahu’s Likud won 30 to 31 seats in the Knesset, composed of 120 members and, together with its allies, has a chance to win 61 to 62 mandates, or the necessary parliamentary majority.

According to estimates, the second party with the most mandates is the centrist party Yesh Atid of current Prime Minister Jair Lapid, which is assigned 22 to 24 seats. It is estimated that he and his allies will win 54 to 55 seats.

The third strongest formation is the religious Zionism (RZ) formation of Bezalel Smotrič and Itamar Ben Gvir, which plans to allocate 14 to 15 seats.

Netanyahu, who is being prosecuted for corruption but denies guilt, has promised Ben Gvir and Smotrič ministerial positions. According to Axios, both have pledged to push for a law that changes the conditions for prosecuting politicians for corruption.

Ben Gvir belongs to the followers of Meir Kahane, whose racist Kach party was banned in Israel in 1994 and has been placed on the lists of Israeli and American terrorist organizations.

Once the official final results are known, President Yitzchak Herzog will determine who will be responsible for forming the government. The candidate then has four weeks to form a coalition. However, like after last year’s elections, it could take weeks or months for a new government to form.

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