Netanyahu Seeks to Take One-third of the Knesset in Next Elections

Likud, the Knesset's largest party, currently has 30 of 120 seats, a showing the PM says will be improved upon in elections that must be held by November 2019

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu smiles during his visit to the synagogue in Vilnius, Lithuania, Aug. 26, 2018.
Mindaugas Kulbis/AP

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu aims for his Likud party to garner as many as 40 seats in the next general election, he said Monday.

"In the general elections, and I do not know exactly when they will be, 35 seats is reasonable and 40 is a target," the prime minister said at a gathering for Likud members who head regional councils or are running in upcoming local elections.

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Likud currently holds 30 of the Knesset's 120 seats. "We will bolster Likud's power in the upcoming local elections throughout the country," Netanyahu said. "With your help and with God's help, the Likud faction will reach the skies. Good luck in the upcoming elections. We will support you and help you. Onwards to a great victory!"

The next Israeli general election must be held by November 5, 2019. Netanyahu has, however, threatened to call early elections if his coalition partners cannot agree on a compromise regarding proposed legislation meant to increase military conscription in the ultra-Orthodox community.