Live updates: Israeli polls neck and neck
Exit polls from Israel's hotly contested election show that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud coalition edging a victory over his rival, Benny Gantz.
The most recent exit polls show that the right-wing bloc is slated to get between 63-65 seats, a slight majority in the 120-member Knesset, Haaretz reported on Tuesday.
US senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders had some harsh words for Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday.
"When election time comes in Israel, he always tries going even further to the right by appealing to racism within Israel, I think it's unfortunate," Sanders said at a campaign rally for the Vermont senator.
"I'm not a great fan of his, and, frankly, I hope he loses his election," he added.
Osnat Mark, a new Likud candidate, looks like she's made the grade.
At the Likud HQ in Tel Aviv, she tells MEE: "I'm only 35th on the list of candidates, so I didn't think I had a realistic chance of getting a seat.
"But the hard work proved its worth, and in the end we will build a right-wing government with our natural partners."
There is a victorious atmosphere in the Blue and White headquarters in Tel Aviv, MEE's Noa Borstein reports.
One of the party's candidates, Gady Yavrkan, is confident Gantz can form a government.
"We had an extraordinary feeling. Even the polls didn't predict these numbers," he tells MEE.
"I don't believe the bullshit that we won't be able to form a government. The will of the voters is the one making the decision."
Elsewhere, Tsion, a Blue and White supporter, says his work paid off.
"We worked so hard and we believed it was fate that we would win," he says. "The three generals will give Bibi a good fight."
As MEE previously reported, women have been shockingly absent in this year's election campaigns.
National broadcaster Kan is now predicting that the number of female members of the Knesset will drop to 29 from 36. There are 120 seats in the Knesset.
“We have a lot more work to do,” Yifat Bitton, a candidate running for the Knesset with the Gesher party, told Middle East Eye. “The men clatter about in the mud of ego, and the discourse is all about who is ‘strong’ and ‘weak’.”
For more on the absence of women in this year's elections, take a look at this piece: Something is missing in the Israeli election: Women
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