Israel election: PM Netanyahu seeks record fifth term

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israelis are set to vote in their country’s most closely fought general election in years, media reported.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of the right-wing Likud Party, is seeking a fifth term in office. But he is facing corruption allegations and a strong challenge from retired general Benny Gantz, the BBC reported.

Gantz, head of the centrist Blue and White alliance, is challenging Netanyahu on the key issue of security and is promising cleaner politics.

No party has won a majority in Israel’s 120-seat parliament, the Knesset, so as soon as the results start coming in at 22:00 (19:00 GMT) on Tuesday negotiations start on the formation of a governing coalition.

At a rally in Jerusalem on Monday, Netanyahu told Likud supporters not to be “complacent” and urged them to turn out at polling stations.

He warned that his “leftist” rivals could still win.