During a tight and ugly election campaign Mr Netanyahu accused Mr Gantz of conspiring with Arab parties to topple him, leading to suggestiong that the leader was demonizing the country's Arab community.
Incumbent premier Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud was on path for victory despite being tied with Blue and White since he would be able to form a coalition government with right-wing and ultra-Orthodox partners.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clinched a clear victory early Wednesday morning in Israel's general elections.
Gantz's statement followed an exit poll on Channel 12 TV news, Israel's TV station with the highest ratings, which showed he has won 37 seats while Netanyahu lags behind with 33 seats. Blue and White rejected the slur, Gantz was also cleared by an IDF inquiry.
The big losers of this election appear to be the left parties, including Labor, which is projected to lose 13 seats, Meretz, projected to lose one, and the United Arab List-Balad, which shaved 3 seats off its Knesset presence.
Netanyahu spoke in the early hours of Wednesday at the Likud's post-election party in Tel Aviv and called it a "magnificent victory". Trump is a popular figure in Israel with 69 percent of Israelis expressing confidence in Trump as president in 2018, reported Haaretz.
In a speech before supporters on Tuesday night, Netanyahu vowed that Israeli's new government "will be a right-wing government, but I will be prime minister for all".
At the sessions - which will be broadcast live - Mr Rivlin will pick a party leader to try to form a coalition, giving the candidate 28 days to do so, with a two-week extension if needed.
The attorney general has announced he intends to indict Netanyahu for bribery, fraud and breach of trust pending an upcoming hearing. "We all need to think about how we can work together, how we can bring everyone into the discussion", he said. The announcement is expected to be made at a meeting of the Blue and White faction at their Tel Aviv headquarters on Wednesday night. If it's even closer, we won't know for several days.
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Gantz, a newcomer to politics, mounted a strong challenge to the veteran prime minister by brandishing his security credentials while pledging to undo damage he says Netanyahu has inflicted on the country with divisive politics. "At the moment, he is creating his next coalition". The Israeli government needs a parliamentary majority to rule, and since no party has ever earned more than half of the 120 seats in the Knesset, a coalition is required.
Netanyahu - some times known as King Bibi, the title of a 2018 documentary about him - tweeted that Trump had called him from Air Force One. A spokesperson for the Likud party confirmed to CBN News that voter turnout is low this election.
An Israel Hayom report also indicated that Netanyahu may ask Kulanu Party leader Moshe Kahlon, a former Likud member, to merge with Likud, thereby making it the largest party.
Who is right? Who will be the next prime minister?
He has sought to overcome Netanyahu's experience by allying with two other former military chiefs and ex-finance minister Yair Lapid to form his Blue and White alliance.
"Israelis have voted to preserve the status quo".
U.S. officials have so far only revealed vague outlines of what the plan might propose, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggested it could break abruptly with precedent.