Netanyahu thanks Israeli public for reelecting him

Tuesday January 22 2013



Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday thanked the Israeli public for re-electing him and pledged to form a coalition "as broad as possible."

"I wish to thank millions of Israelis who realised their democratic right today," he wrote on his Facebook page.

"Based on the results in the exit polls, it's clear the citizens of Israel determined they want me to continue as prime minister, and that I form a government as wide as possible," he wrote.

Netanyahu said he would immediately begin "efforts to form a government ... as broad as possible."

Exit polls released by Israel's three main television stations showed Netanyahu's Likud, running on a joint list with the hardline Yisrael Beitenu, winning 31 mandates in the 120-seat Knesset.

It was followed by new centrist party Yesh Atid with 18-19 seats and Labour came a close third place with 17.

The far-right nationalist religious Jewish Home party, which had been widely expected to take second place, won 12 seats.