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  1. ITV Report

Israel election still too close to call amid contradictory exit polls as Netanyahu and Gantz claim victory

Channel 12 projected Benny Gantz's Blue and White party marginally ahead of Benjamin Netanyahu's party in its exit poll. Credit: Channel 12

The first exit polls suggest Benjamin Netanyahu's rival party has claimed a narrow lead in Israel's election but the ultimate result remains unclear.

A variety of results project former army chief of staff Benny Gantz's Blue and White party marginally ahead of Mr Netanyahu's Likud.

However, Likud could gain enough support from minority parties to build a coalition government.

If Benjamin Netanyahu wins, it would mark a record breaking fifth term in office. Credit: AP

Many TV channels have given different breakdowns for possible coalitions, with two stations projecting Mr Netanyahu's right-wing party a slight parliamentary majority while Channel 12 had them tied at 60 seats.

With neither side having a clear advantage, they will have to wait for official results to come in overnight.

But Mr Gantz has been quick to claim victory on social media, tweeting: "We won! The people in Israel have had their say"

"In these elections there is a clear winner and a clear loser."

Mr Netanyahu also responded to the exit polls on Twitter saying: "The right-ring bloc led by Likud triumphed conclusively. I thank the citizens of Israel for the vote of confidence."

The Israeli prime minister has led right-wing governments in Israel for a decade and if he is to win, it would mark a record breaking fifth term in office.

Earlier, Mr Netanyahu filmed himself at the beach in Netanya and urged people to go vote or "wake up tomorrow to a leftist government".

Mr Gantz shared a video in which he appears to assist a motorcyclist who was involved in a traffic accident.