Final Israel election results leave Netanyahu on course

Benjamin Netanyahu's rival party concedes Israeli election

Gantz concedes; Israeli PM Netanyahu secures 5th term

And he won despite expectations that his own attorney general will indict him for alleged bribery and fraud. So he's looking to the right-wing parties in his outgoing government and he'll have to give their leaders cabinet ministries and assure them he will look out for their issues.

Netanyahu should thank U.S. President Donald Trump for the win.

As the New York Times noted, "Applying sovereignty to Israeli settlements on West Bank land that the Palestinians demand for a future state, presumably along with the roads and infrastructure tethering those places to the rest of Israel, would leave the Palestinians at best with an archipelago of disconnected territory". Aside from a few nuances and the uncertainties regarding the formation of a new government, the one overall conclusion we can draw from these elections is that we can expect to see more of the same, in other words, more fait accompli tactics being deployed by Israel and more hardships for the Palestinians. It would put an end to Palestinian hopes of a genuine two-state solution; the Palestinians' chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, said the results show "that Israelis have voted to preserve the status quo".

Lapid vowed to prove the naysayers wrong, saying: "They will try to break us up". Netanyahu has obviously made good electoral capital of these gifts - awaiting the offering expected to come wrapped up in the so-called peace plan that Trump is concocting - but their political fallout will now have to be dealt with, given that none of them serve Israel's real interests.

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Every ruling party faces challenges after a decade in power - voter fatigue is nearly inescapable - but Netanyahu's future has been clouded by allegations of corruption, charges he denies.

Netanyahu no doubt expects the U.S.to acquiesce to his announcement, on the eve of the vote, that Israel will annex parts of the West Bank as well. The indictment itself doesn't force him from office, but Netanyahu will need to keep his coalition or may even ask his allies to pass laws allowing him to delay the case while in office.

This past week, Benjamin Netanyahu secured his fifth term as prime minister of Israel despite facing a formidable challenger and a string of corruption charges.

Benny Gantz, leader of Blue and White party, and his wife Revital cast their ballots as Israelis began voting in a parliamentary election, at a polling station in Rosh Ha'ayin, Israel on April 9, 2019.

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Mr. Trump's heavy placement of his thumb on the scale of Israel's elections is all the more striking in that it comes at a time of heightened sensitivity in the U.S.to the issue of foreign intervention in elections.

Throughout the last decade, Netanyahu has focused on Iran and its nuclear program as Israel's biggest threat. "I'd like to congratulate him on a well-thought-out race", Trump said.

Trump almost always backs Netanyahu and has given him a series of wins: Moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, recognizing Israel's annexation of the Golan Heights, taking tough steps against Iran. He has said he will soon release an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.

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