- Against all odds: A great victory for Likud, said Netanyahu in a speech to his supporters after the victory was clear.
- Now we must establish a strong and stable government, the Prime Minister said.
During his campaign, he has invested heavily to convince voters that he is the only one who can protect Israel against the Iranian nuclear threat.
For the opposition, who led in several polls before the election, the defeat was hard to swollow.
- This is a difficult morning for us and for those who believe in our way. We will fight in the Knesset for the values we believe in, according to a statement from the two prominent figures in the Zionist Union, and Labour leader Yitzhak Herzog and former Justice Minister Tzipi Livni.
First Wednesday morning Herzog admitted defeat and congratulated Netanyahu. Then it 99.5 percent of votes were counted, and Likud was set to 29 or 30 of the Knesset 120 representatives. The Zionist Union had secured 24.
Netanyahu said during the election campaign that there will be no Palestinian state as long as he is in power in Israel.
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700 refugees have drowned after the boat capsized
The reason was probably that the refugees gathered on one side of the boat as a cargo ship approached.