Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing allies won a decisive majority in Israel's election, a final vote count on Thursday shows. Left-wing party Meretz was just a few thousand votes short of making it into the next Knesset, ending a three-decade-long era of political representation.
Likud won 32 seats, while outgoing Prime Minister Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid is the second-largest party with 24 seats, followed by the far-right Religious Zionism – headed by Bezalel Smotrich and Kahanist lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir – which earned 14 seats.
Netanyahu's likely coalition partners Shas and United Torah Judaism won 11 and seven seats, respectively.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz's National Unity won 12 seats, and Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman got six seats.
Arab-majority parties Hadash-Ta'al and United Arab List each have five seats.
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Labor, once a ruling party in Israel, is just over the 3.25 percent electoral threshold with four seats.
Arab nationalist party Balad and Ayelet Shaked's Habayit Hayehudi failed to make it into the Knesset.
Outgoing Prime Minister Yair Lapid called Likud's Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday to congratulate him on his election victory. "Israel is above politics," Lapid said, adding that he is prepared for an orderly transition of power.
This was followed shortly after by a congratulatory tweet by U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Tom Nides.