Israeli PM Lapid concedes defeat to Netanyahu
Netanyahu and his allies have won enough seats to have a majority government in the Israel parliament.
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Thursday said he congratulated Benjamin Netanyahu on his coalition's victory in the Knesset elections on Tuesday.
"The State of Israel wishes Netanyahu success," Lapid tweeted, as translated. His liberal Yesh Atid party came in second to Netanyahu's conservative Likud party at 17.79% to 23.41%, according to official results.
In Israel's parliamentary system, coalitions of parties join together to create a majority coalition of at least 61 seats in the 120-member Knesset. Netanyahu's conservative coalition, composed of three Jewish Orthodox parties and the secular Likud, has won 64 seats, while the opposition will have 56 seats.
Netanyahu's coalition was boosted by overall high turnout. Additionally, the Arab Balad Party and the liberal Meretz Party were ousted after they both failed to reach the required threshold of 3.25% of the votes to remain in the Knesset.
This will be Netanyahu's sixth term as prime minister.
The Religious Zionist Party, part of Netanyahu's coalition, also surged with this election by doubling its seats in the Knesset from 7 to 14. The party, created by Bezalel Smotrich and the more well-known Itamar Ben Gvir, supports nationalism and Torah values and is opposed to conceding territory.