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He declined to comment on Netanyahu's possible re-election to a fifth term but said the German government "will work closely, cordially and faithfully with the new Israeli government".

On the path to victory, Netanyahu leveraged the support of President Donald Trump. The president was on a flight to Texas.

Mr Trump is expected to release his administration's long-awaited Middle East peace plan after the election.

Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler of the Israel Democracy Institute deemed the strategy saw "a one-to-one imitation" of Trump's 2016 presidential campaign: "This was about both spreading fear and sowing a victim-like mistrust in the democratic institutions". "Israel lies in a region with enormous challenges, which is why it's important to form a government quickly", he told reporters. Netanyahu is immersed in a criminal investigation after Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announced plans to indict the prime minister on charges of breach of trust, bribery and fraud. Netanyahu has reneged on election eve promises before, but should he follow through on this one, it would mark a dramatic development and potentially wipe out the already diminishing hope for Palestinian statehood.

As Israel awaits official results, 69-year-old Benjamin Netanyahu appears headed toward a historic fifth term.

United must be ‘killers’ to beat Barca - Pogba
However, French star Pogba - who has been linked with Real Madrid - believes in United's chances against Barca. Barcelona were eliminated at this stage last season, losing 3-0 at Roma following a 4-1 win in the first leg.

Fireworks flared behind him as his wife Sara applauded and kissed him.

- Outgoing finance minister Moshe Kahlon, who split from the Likud to form Kulanu ahead of the 2015 election, largely supports Netanyahu's positions while putting more of an emphasis on social issues.

However, the scandals were not enough to sink Netanyahu's bid to become Israel's longest-serving prime minister.

"He is still in survival mode and is likely to try to pass the immunity legislation or find a way to end the indictments against him for once and all", Hugh Lovatt, Israel analyst at the European Council on Foreign Relations think-tank, said.

Netanyahu's message of unity contrasted with his campaign theme in which he accused Gantz of conspiring with Arab parties to topple him. So did Israel Beiteinu, the right-wing party led by Avigdor Liberman that caters to Russian speakers.

Dwayne Wade and Gabrielle Union support son Zion at Miami Pride
Union celebrated the night by posing with the trio in a photo she shared to Instagram with the caption, "Bigger Than Basketball". The Nets also clinched their first winning season since 2013-14 by going 34-22 over their last 56 games since December 7.

But it is the image he has cultivated as the sole protector of Israel, the man who can make Israelis feel there is a distance between those who seek it harm, that is the real reason he won on Tuesday.

He thanked the U.S. leader for his "great support for Israel", including the White House's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Trump further aided Netanyahu politically by recognizing the contested Golan Heights as an Israeli territory and refusing to condemn Netanyahu's pledge to annex Jewish settlements in the West Bank in the election's home stretch.

Netanyahu tweeted that Trump had called him from Air Force One. As a combat soldiers in the Sayeret Matkal, as a high-tech entrepreneur, as education minister and as a cabinet member during 'Operation Protective Edge.' Now the soldiers will decide where I will continue to fight on their behalf.

Challenged on election day, the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, refused to say what the USA would do if the Israeli government tried to annex parts of the West Bank.

"The digital effort here was in the micro-targeting - getting the "right" people to come out and vote after creating pressure on the Arabs not to", Altshuler said.

Champions League: Man United receives two injury boost ahead of Barcelona clash
The key here for United will be to avoid defeat to have a fighter's chance in Spain in next week's second leg. They are still in this competition for now, but they have a job on their hands to get back into it next year.