Netanyahu Declares Victory After Tough Election Fight

Israeli Prime Minister declared victory hours after his country's much-watched elections drew to a close following a razor-close campaign fight with the center-left opposition. "Against all odds: a great victory for the Likud," he tweeted about his own hawkish party, even before all the votes were counted. "A major victory for the people of Israel!" His challenger conceded defeat early Wednesday — but it's not yet clear who exactly will govern, or how, since coalition talks are still gearing up. The victory came after Netanyahu had made a last-ditch campaign pledge, just before the polls opened, that he wouldn't allow a Palestinian state if reelected, in a move that was geared toward shoring up votes from hard-liners and that could signal continued troubles in his strained relationship with key ally Washington.

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