Calls grow for United Kingdom government to recognise Palestine following Israel election result

Calls grow for United Kingdom government to recognise Palestine following Israel election result

Calls grow for United Kingdom government to recognise Palestine following Israel election result

With some 97 percent of votes in the election counted, Netanyahu's Likud party was tied with Blue and White, but his right-wing/ultra-Orthodox bloc held a decisive lead.

With almost all votes counted, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looks set to win a historic fifth term in office, fending off a tough challenge from opposition leader Benny Gantz with support from right-wing parties. The president, whose responsibilities are mostly ceremonial, is charged with choosing a prime minister after consulting with party leaders and determining who has the best chance of putting together a majority coalition. Speaking to journalists outside his home on Wednesday morning, Gantz said "we're waiting until the end of the results".

Netanyahu benefited from a string of campaign gifts given by Donald Trump.

The Prime Minister faces possible indictment in three graft cases, and has denied wrongdoing in all of them.

Avigdor Liberman's Yisrael Beytenu party is poised to remain in the next Knesset after winning five seats in the 120-member parliament in Tuesday's election, with almost all the votes counted. But Likud and its traditional political allies were in command of a 65-55 majority in the Knesset, Israel's parliament.

"They have said no to peace and yes to the occupation", he said. That means that the more parties there are on each side of the ideological divide sucking the air out of the room, the less likely the larger, established parties are to garner more seats. Last-minute polling had shown Gantz's party barely ahead of Netanyahu's.

Additionally, Netanyahu courted more overtly racist elements of the Israeli far right as he eyed reelection.

In the final days of the campaign, Netanyahu has vowed to annex Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank - a move that would quash any remaining hopes of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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"Presently, Benjamin Netanyahu's party "Likud" also has 35 seats in the parliament, but its natural allies are "Shas" party with eight mandates", he said.

Pressed by Democratic Senator Tim Kaine - who described himself as "kind of shocked" that Pompeo would not reaffirm U.S. support for a two-state solution - the top USA diplomat said the United States wanted "good things" for the Palestinians but that a solution had to be acceptable to both sides.

As a result, it will nearly certainly be Netanyahu who is called upon by President Reuven Rivlin to form the next government.

(Trump's approval rating previous year stood at 69 percent, a boost fueled at least in part by his decision to move America's embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.) The prime minister even approved a billboard in Tel Aviv showing himself shaking hands with the president in order to tout their close relationship.

"The party that gains more votes in a closed voting will receive a mandate to form a government", Spivak said. Gantz was able to challenge Netanyahu on security issues, normally the prime minister's strong suit, while also taking aim at his alleged ethical lapses.

Democratic Senator Tim Kaine asked Pompeo, a former Republican member of the House of Representatives, if he thought a peace agreement including one state for Israel and one state for the Palestinians was an outdated idea.

The peace plan is being developed by Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, an Orthodox Jew whose close family ties to Netanyahu have heightened Palestinian suspicions on whether the United States administration can serve as an honest broker.

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