Netanyahu and his allies win the elections in Israel

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N&eacute ;tanyahu and his allies win the elections in Israel

Benyamin Netanyahu will again be called upon to form a government, after his bloc's victory in the legislative elections.

The suspense is over. Former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has succeeded in his long-desired goal of obtaining a majority with his religious and far-right allies to once again tread the highest steps of power.

Despite his corruption trial, Mr. Netanyahu and his allies from the ultra-Orthodox parties and the far-right Religious Zionism list won 64 of the 120 seats in the Knesset (parliament), three more than the threshold of the majority, the electoral commission announced on Thursday evening.

Shortly before, outgoing Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who had ousted Mr. Netanyahu from power last year by putting on foot a motley coalition (right, center, left, Arab) which has since imploded, contacted his rival to congratulate him on this victory, after the legislative elections on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Lapid congratulated Netanyahu on his election victory and informed the opposition leader that he had given instructions to prepare for an orderly transition, his spokesman said in a statement.

“The State of Israel is above all political consideration. I wish Netanyahu success, for the sake of the people of Israel and the State of Israel. »

— Yair Lapid, outgoing Prime Minister

According to the electoral commission, Mr. Netanyahu's right-wing bloc won 64 seats – 32 for his Likud party, 18 for the two Orthodox parties and a record 14 for the far right – in what could be, according to analysts, the most right-wing government in the country's history.

Centrist Lapid's Yesh Atid party (There is a future in Hebrew) won 24 seats, his center-right ally Benny Gantz 12 seats, followed by 10 seats for two other parties and 5 for the Arab Raam party, which had also supported his coalition, for a total of 51 deputies.

The Arab Hadash-Taal party obtained 5 deputies.

In the Israeli proportional system, parties must obtain 3.25% of the vote to enter parliament, a minimum rate giving them de facto four deputies.

However, two small parties hostile to the camp of Mr. Netanyahu, the left formation Meretz and the Arab party Balad, harvested respectively 3.16% and 2.90% of support.

A campaign poster of the left-wing Meretz party, which reads in Hebrew “If you don't vote for Meretz, Bibi will get 61 seats in the Knesset”.

For Meretz, who was part of Mr. Lapid's coalition and whose four elected officials could have helped to deprive Mr. Netanyahu of a majority, the fate is all the more cruel as the formation missed the target 3.25% by almost 4000 votes.

The election results are a disaster for Meretz, for the country and personally, acknowledged party leader Zehava Galon. Humanist values ​​do not disappear because of 3800 votes […] we will continue our fight and in the end we will win it, she added.

In order to To avoid this scenario, Meretz had asked the Labor Party (left) before the election to form an alliance in order to ensure that they crossed the threshold together. In vain.

The same goes for two Arab parties – Hadash/Taal and Balad – who decided at the last minute not to run on the same electoral list, depriving in total the anti-Netanyahu camp of many seats.

Nicknamed Bibi, Mr. Netanyahu had not quit politics as his opponents wanted, but clung to the post of leader of the opposition with the aim of returning to business for possibly have the deputies vote for immunity and cancel his trial for corruption.

Over the next few days, Israeli President Isaac Herzog, whose office is largely symbolic, will have to formally mandate Mr. Netanyahu to form a government. The latter will then have 42 days to distribute the ministerial portfolios.

But according to the Israeli press, the Netanyahu camp did not wait for this formal green light, the former – Prime Minister having mandated Yariv Levin, one of his relatives, to start talks which could be complicated, with the Religious Zionism formation, in particular.

The leader of this party, Bezalel Smotrich, has indicated that he wants the Ministry of Defense, and number two Itamar Ben Gvir, that of Public Security, two key positions at the forefront of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which is experiencing its most significant violence in seven years.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is currently experiencing its worst violence in seven years.

On Thursday, four Palestinians – including an assailant, a fighter, but also a teenager – were killed by Israeli forces in different incidents in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. It's time to bring security to the streets, to restore order, to show who is in charge, it's time to kill a terrorist who carries out an attack, asserted the tenor of the extreme right Itamar Ben Gvir.

The appointments of MM. Smotrich and Ben Gvir in sensitive security posts could be embarrassing on the international scene for Benyamin Netanyahu, believes Palestinian analyst Khaldoun Barghouti.

Without wishing to speculate on a government, Washington expressed his hope that all Israeli officials will continue to share the values ​​of an open, democratic society that promotes tolerance and respect for all civil society, especially minority groups.

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