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Israel’s Election, Through the Eyes of a Young Palestinian

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Benjamin Netanyahu's rival party concedes Israeli election

First of all, let us not forget that Netanyahu has reached this point already worn down by a tenure with more dark than bright spells.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's election victory makes him odds on to secure a historic fifth term in office. There are around 14 months left until President Trump goes into full campaign mode for his own re-election, and a strengthened Netanyahu will have more leverage than usual to create political realities for Israel's control of Palestinian land. The president was on a flight to Texas. "He's been a great ally and he's a friend. It may be a little early but I'm hearing that he's won it and won it in good fashion", Trump told reporters in Washington. The narrative of the Israeli right is that such trips and close connections prove that the Palestinian question is no inhibitor to Israel's wider integration into the Arab world. Palestinians, angered by what they see as Trump's pro-Israel bias, have called it a non-starter.

Israel's President Reuven Rivlin will host party representatives at his residence on Monday to hear their recommendations for who should be the next prime minister. As a result of these consultations, the president is set to determine a candidate who will be given 42 days to form a new government.

Israel's attorney general has announced his intention to charge him with bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three cases. Netanyahu has denied all allegations of wrongdoing.

"He's a magician!" the crowd chanted as fireworks flared and Netanyahu kissed his wife Sara.

Tel Aviv Stock Exchange main indexes were up almost 1 percent in late trading on Wednesday, displaying confidence in a veteran prime minister who has overseen a humming economy and blunted various security threats, including from Syria.

A Likud spokesman said Netanyahu thanked Gantz, adding that after the tumultuous election campaign it was now time to "restore Israel to calm".

Israel's 21 percent Arab minority saw its parties lose seats.

When Netanyahu wanted to close his deal with voters last weekend, he reached out to the right, not the center.

The New Right, a far-right party headed by the outgoing education minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, said it would "continue to fight" after it fell short of the vote threshold required to be represented in the Knesset by a mere 1,400 votes. "We hope that any security measures are implemented within the context of preserving the eventual possibility of a two-state solution". Netanyahu defended the practice, saying cameras helped guarantee a "legitimate" vote. But with Trump's moves on Jerusalem and the Golan, the prime minister may feel emboldened to advocate annexation. Experiences such as these at a young age have caused them to believe that peace can only be achieved by force; something only the right-wing parties can achieve.

Palestinians say the United States is far too biased in favor of Israel and they have refused to work with Trump's peace team since the U.S. backed Israel's claim to the city of Jerusalem and moved the U.S. Embassy there.

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