Both Netanyahu and opposition leader Ganz declared victory due to the even election results, but Netanyahu claims his fifth mandate because of Israeli law.

An Israeli border policewoman stands behind a mobile voting booth
An Israeli border policewoman stands behind a mobile voting booth as she votes in national elections a day before polling stations open in the rest of Israel on 8 April, 2019 (AFP)

(— April 10, 2019) — The Israelis voted in parliamentary elections to give Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu another, fifth term, but the results of the exit polls are contradictory, and it is not yet known who will be the Israeli Prime Minister.

Upon finishing the elections both Netanyahu and his main rival, former commander of the Israeli army, Benny Gantz, have declared victory after gaining the same amount of votes.

TV Channel 12 announced immediately after the closing of polling stations at 2200 hours, that both the right-wing and left center blocks won 60 seats out of 120 in the Israeli Parliament, Knesset.

The same channel states that the alliance of the Blue Center, Gantz won more, 37 parliamentary seats, and Netanyahu’s conservative Likud 33. However, the data showed that The League of Blue and Likud Parties each have 36 seats which prompted both leaders to declare victory.

“We won, the Israeli people spoke. Thanks to thousands of activists and over a million voters,” Gantz said, claiming it was clear who the winner was and who was the loser.

“It is a night of colossal victory,” the 69-year-old Netanyahu told cheering supporters in a late night speech followed by fireworks.

Although both parties have proclaimed victory, The Guardian cited the Times of Israel which reports that “Netanyahu has a clear path to forming a right-wing government” which will set the record for presidency in Israel.

The newspaper also reports that the Arab party Ra’am Ra’am-Balad is at 3.45%, putting it past the 3.25% threshold required for entering the Knesset.

These results would give the right and religious block 65 seats, and the center, left and Arab parties 55 seats.

Commenting on the election, Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said: “Israelis have voted to preserve the status quo. They have said no to peace and yes to the occupation”.

Netanyahu has been in power consecutively since 2009. During his presidency Netanyahu faced possible indictment in three graft cases, CNBC reports, and has denied wrongdoing in all three.