Embattled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared a “huge” victory Friday, after winning a leadership primary that ensures he will lead his right-wing Likud party into March elections.
Israel’s longest-serving premier, who faces a corruption indictment and a third general election in twelve months, was expected to beat rival Gideon Saar but the convincing margin of victory strengthened his position in the party he has dominated for 20 years.
With all votes counted, Likud announced early Friday that Netanyahu had secured 72.5 percent, with Saar winning 27.5 percent. . .
Netanyahu held multiple campaign events a day in different parts of the country, while on Thursday his Facebook page broadcast live video of him phoning supporters.
In the campaign’s most dramatic moment on Wednesday, Netanyahu was rushed off stage at a rally in Ashkelon in southern Israel after a rocket was fired from the nearby Palestinian enclave of Gaza. (Read more from “Israel’s Netanyahu Wins Ruling Party Leadership Vote” HERE)