In defiance of pre-election polls predicting a Likud loss, Benjamin Netanyahu swept to victory in Israel's March 17 election.
As of this morning, with 99% of the votes counted, Netanyahu was reelected as Prime Minister, and his party won 29 seats in the Knesset.
The result is being called "a decisive victory over [Likud's] main left-wing rival," the Zionist Union (a coalition between the Labor and Hatnua parties.)
In an address to supporters at election headquarters, Netanyahu acknowledged that his party had triumphed "against all odds" and "against major forces" -- a possible reference to reports that foreign groups were attempting to interfere with the election.
He added, "I’m proud of the people of Israel that in the moment of truth knew how to distinguish between the important and the trivial."
According to TheBlaze.com, "Netanyahu’s first stop after securing the majority of Knesset seats according to the official vote count was to the Western Wall in Jerusalem."
Under Israeli election rules, Netanyahu needs 61 members of parliament from the country's many smaller parties to agree to support him as prime minister.
"Based on the overall results, Netanyahu appears able to handily succeed in the task," writes Sharona Schwartz at TheBlaze, who adds:
"Another surprise of the elections was the showing of the Joint List, a merger of smaller parties representing mostly Israel’s Arab sector. With 14 seats in the Knesset, the party representing communists, Islamists and Palestinian nationalists was set to be the third largest party in the 120-seat Knesset, a first for Israel’s Arab minority."
PS: One of Netanyahu's "sit-com style" campaign commercials went viral around the world. Here it is case you missed it:
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