Benny Gantz declares victory in Israel election

Benny Gantz declares victory in Israel election

Israeli PM Netanyahu looks set to lose power after election gamble backfires

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Thursday on his main rival, former general Benny Gantz, to join him in a broad, governing coalition after Israel's election ended with no clear victor, Reuters reports.

In a historic move, a party made up mostly of Israeli Arabs recommended a prime ministerial candidate to President Reuven Rivlin for the first time in nearly three decades, saying in consultations Sunday that it would support a bid by former army chief of staff Benny Gantz to replace Benjamin Netanyahu.

"But to my regret, the election results show that this is impossible", Netanyahu said in a video message on Thursday.

The right-wing leader failed on Tuesday, for the second time in five months, to secure a clear election victory and the centrist Blue and White party led by ex-armed forces chief Benny Gantz rebuffed his calls to join a unity government on Thursday. The nation expects us, the both of us, to work together.

Joint List Chairman Ayman Odeh has in recent days bandied the possibility of becoming a minister or, in the unlikely event the Likud and Gantz's Blue and White find their way to a government of national unity, becoming the leader of Israel's opposition.

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Every so many years, most modern governments - especially those of developed countries, that is - hold elections in which prime ministers, presidents, and legislative body members are appointed to various positions of governance.

The U.S. envoy to the Middle East met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, days after elections that left the Israeli leader's political future in doubt.

Mr Netanyahu reacted by saying: "As we warned, the Arab parties that oppose Israel as a Jewish and democratic state and glorify terrorists recommended Gantz for prime minister".

The results mean that neither Likud nor Blue and White, with its smaller respective allies, could control a majority in the 120-seat parliament.

Netanyahu made allegations of voter fraud in Arab communities an issue in his election campaign, and sought to deploy cameras to the country's polling centres in what Arab leaders described an attempt to scare off voters.

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The two will meet in Tel Aviv on Monday afternoon, Liberman said Sunday evening, several hours after his party's consultation with President Reuven Rivlin, noting that Gantz had called the meeting. Throughout the campaign, Blue and White's leaders said they would not sit in a government with Netanyahu as long as the specter of his indictment on corruption charges remains. Netanyahu called the snap election after failing to form a governing coalition with a viable majority after April's vote. Liberman is trying to knock their heads together, but he has one demand - that the ultra-orthodox parties that support Netanyahu must not be part of the national unity government.

The deciding factor looks to be Avigdor Lieberman and the eight seats his Yisrael Beitenu party captured.

The Likud Party and its right wing allied parties now have a bloc of 55 or 56 seats in the Knesset.

The results have put Netanyahu's long tenure in office at risk.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin consults with Likud party members in Jerusalem on September 22, 2019. "But we promised our constituents that we would do everything to topple Netanyahu and the default here is recommending Benny Gantz".

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"The people chose unity, the people want for Israel to be before everything", stated the prime minister. Abbas was elected president in 2005 and Hamas won a 2006 parliamentary election, plunging Palestinian politics into a bitter power struggle from which it has not emerged.

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