Netanyahu-led bloc maintains 67-seat lead in Israel elections

71.3% of votes counted in Israel’s legislative elections.

Netanyahu-led bloc maintains 67-seat lead in Israel elections

Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu-led bloc maintained a 65-seat lead as 97% of votes were counted in Israel’s legislative elections, preliminary results showed on Wednesday.

The results cited by The Times of Israel newspaper showed that Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud Party won 31 seats in the 120-seat Knesset (Israel’s parliament). His allies, the far-right Religious Zionism Party got 14 seats, the Shas Party 12 seats and the United Torah Judaism Party 8 seats.

Current Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid Party is projected to win 24 seats, the National Unity Party of Defense Minister Benny Gantz to get 12 seats and five seat for Yisrael Beiteinu Party of Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

According to the preliminary results, the United Arab List headed by Mansour Abbas gained five seats in the Knesset while the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality (HADASH) of Ayman Odeh and Ahmad Tibi got five seats.

The results give Netanyahu, a former prime minister, an outright majority in the Knesset to form the upcoming Israeli government.

Tuesday’s elections were the fifth in less than four years, which witnessed a voter turnout of 71.3 percent, the highest in 20 years.