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Benjamin Netanyahu appears poised to win historic fifth term amid corruption charges

Netanyahu appears to be headed to fifth term
Netanyahu appears to be headed to fifth term 02:00

Benjamin Netanyahu appears headed for a historic fifth term. The Israeli prime minister holds a slim lead over his main rival after a tight election battle. His apparent victory comes despite impending corruption charges.

Netanyahu put his close relationship with President Trump and other world leaders at the center of his campaign. Now he's set to become the longest-serving prime minister in Israel's 71-year history.

Most of the votes have been counted and the two main parties – Likud and Blue and White –  are virtually tied for seats in the parliament. Both declared "victory" Tuesday night.

First Benny Gantz, Netanyahu's former military chief, appeared on stage calling himself "Israel's next prime minister." Then, Netanyahu showed up at his party headquarters – fireworks and all. But, neither party has enough seats to form a government on its own.

Now the tough part: a coalition government needs to be created. It appears Netanyahu's party – Likud – has a pathway to do that, relying on a coalition of far-right and ultra-orthodox parties. That continued tilt to the right in Israeli politics would have an impact not only on domestic policies, but the wider world and, of course, on Middle East peace.

Palestinians are already concerned about one of the last-minute campaign promises Netanyahu made to annex West Bank settlements – extending Israeli sovereignty onto land most of the world considers "occupied territory."

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