Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has won the Israeli general election, after exit polls put him ahead of his main rival Benny Gantz.

Three projections gave Mr. Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party 36 or 37 seats, and Mr. Gantz’s centrist Blue and White alliance between 32 and 34.

 However, the polls suggested Likud and its right-wing allies might fall short of a majority in parliament.  Yesterday’s election was Israel’s third in less than a year. Mr. Netanyahu, 70, is Israel’s longest-serving leader.

 He is seeking a record fifth term, having been in office from 1996 to 1999 and again from 2009.  The election took place two weeks before the prime minister is due in court to face corruption charges, which he denies.

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