Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has recorded a victory in the country’s elections.
Netanyahu, who many didn’t think would win, secured the victory after a hard campaign shift in the last days to the election.
In a four-day pre-election blitz, Netanyahu made a series of promises designed to shore up his base in his party, Likud, and draw voters, including a pledge to go on building settlements on occupied land and saying that there would be no Palestinian state if he is re-elected.
In a statement, Likud said Netanyahu intended to form a new government within weeks, with negotiations already underway with the pro-settler Jewish Home party led by Naftali Bennett, as well as with religious groups.
“Reality is not waiting for us,” Netanyahu said. “The citizens of Israel expect us to quickly put together a leadership that will work for them regarding security, economy and society as we committed to do – and we will do so.”