Israel’s Netanyahu declares victory in tight race

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(Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

(Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared victory after a tight national election appeared to give him the upper hand in forming the country’s next coalition government.

In a statement released on Twitter, Netanyahu says that “against all odds” his Likud party and the nationalist camp secured a “great victory.”

Initial exit polls showed Netanyahu’s Likud Party deadlocked with the center-left Zionist Union.

But the results indicated that Netanyahu will have an easier time cobbling together a majority coalition with hard-line and religious allies.

Netanyahu said he had already begun to call potential partners.

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