Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has won a convincing victory in Tuesday's race for the leadership of the Likud party for the fifth time, with an overwhelming 74 percent of support, according to initial results.
In a victory speech he made shortly after initial results came in, Netanyahu clarified that the general elections for the Knesset are still a long way off.
In his speech, the Prime Minister thanked the Cabinet ministers for working on behalf of Israel, and also thanked Knesset members, mayors and party activists.
“I thank you all for your confidence and the renewed support you have given me,” Netanyahu said, adding that the Likud is a movement which “is committed to settle in the land of Israel and is committed to the future of Israel.”
"The real Likud won today. We proved that our strength lies in our unity. We will continue to show responsible leadership and take the lead in education, the economy, and security for the sake of all citizens in the State of Israel."
“There’s still time until the elections to the Knesset,” he said to the sound of loud cheering. “We proved that the Likud is a strong and united movement. It is a democratic, open, transparent, national, liberal movement, which respects the law and abides by its responsibility to the State of Israel.”
“We will continue to lead the country in unity and with responsibility for all its citizens. We are facing great challenges that no other country faces, and I believe that together we shall overcome them, through the Likud."
The polling stations closed at 11:00 p.m. (Israel time) Tuesday evening with about only about 50 percent of voters having taken part. Final results are expected later, but initial counts found that Netanyahu won the most votes in most of the polling stations in the country. Feiglin, however, made a good showing in some areas of Judea and Samaria, such as Elon Moreh, where he received 127 votes out of 130 and in Har Bracha, where he received 285 votes compared to four received by Netanyahu.