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Netanyahu on clearer path to victory in Israeli election: media

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was on a clearer path to victory on Wednesday in Israel's general election after updated exit polls showed him gaining ground on his main rival.

[JERUSALEM] Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was on a clearer path to victory on Wednesday in Israel's general election after updated exit polls showed him gaining ground on his main rival.

Two updated exit polls by Israeli television channels put his rightwing Likud ahead of rival Benny Gantz's Blue and White by one seat.

One of the polls further improved his chances of forming a coalition government based on smaller rightwing parties allied to Mr Netanyahu.

Israel's public broadcaster also cited early official results in projecting that Mr Likud would win 40 seats out of 120 in parliament compared to Blue and White's 35, though only around 40 per cent of the votes were counted.

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Both men claimed victory after initial exit polls were released following the closure of polling stations on Tuesday night.

Mr Netanyahu is seeking a fifth term while facing the possibility of indictment on corruption charges.

Mr Gantz, a former military chief, has put up a strong challenge with his centrist alliance.

AFP