Jerusalem – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared victory in national elections as exit polls show his Likud party gaining ground on its main rival.
Addressing a jubilant gathering of supporters early Wednesday, Netanyahu praised them for an “almost inconceivable achievement.”
Exit polls put Likud and the rival Blue and White parties in a tight race. But recent projections appear to be giving Likud a slight lead and in a stronger position to form a majority coalition in the 120-seat parliament.
In a speech repeatedly interrupted by cheering supporters, Netanyahu said that “I was very moved that the nation of Israel once again entrusted me for the fifth time, and with even greater trust.”
He vowed to establish a right-wing nationalist government.
Official results are expected later Wednesday.