Benjamin Netanyahu is likely to secure a record fifth term as Israel’s prime minister after almost complete results from the country’s election suggested a new right-wing coalition.
The prime minister’s Likud party is expected to finish with the same number of seats as former military chief Benny Gantz’s centrist Blue and White alliance.
A coalition between Likud and smaller right-wing and religious parties could control 65 of the Knesset’s 120 seats.
In a late-night speech to supporters Benjamin Netanyahu claimed a “colossal victory”.
Exit polls had earlier predicted a tight race with no clear winner.
If he can form a new governing coalition, Benjamin Netanyahu could become Israel’s longest-serving prime minister this summer, overtaking the country’s founding father David Ben-Gurion.
However, the prime minister could be indicted in three corruption cases in the coming months.
Benjamin Netanyahu told cheering supporters at Likud’s headquarters: “It will be a right-wing government, but I will be prime minister for all.
“I’m very touched that the people of Israel gave me their vote of confidence for the fifth time, and an even bigger vote of confidence than previous elections.
“I intend to be the prime minister of all citizens of Israel. Right, left, Jews, non-Jews. All of Israel’s citizens.”
No party has ever won a majority in Israel’s parliament and it has always had coalition governments.