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Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a political comeback Thursday after winning a decisive victory in Israel’s fifth election since 2019, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Results of the Nov. 1 elections showed that Netanyahu’s right-wing nationalist bloc secured 64 seats in the 120-seat parliament. The party of centrist caretaker Prime Minister Yair Lapid and his political partners won 51 seats.

Lapid conceded Thursday night and wished his opponent success.

Netanyahu rode a wave of ultranationalist fervor a little more than a year after violence erupted in Israeli cities between Arabs and Jews, analysts said. They noted that his success was influenced by the rising popularity of ultranationalist religious lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir.

Ben-Gvir campaigned on the promise of stronger measures against Palestinians in the West Bank and Arab-Israeli residents who participate in violence against Jews. Ben-Gvir and Netanyahu also heavily criticized the previous ruling coalition for allowing an Islamist party to join the government – the first time an Arab party had done so in Israel’s history.

Some Israelis welcomed Netanyahu’s return, who remains Israel’s longest-serving prime minister – and has been dubbed “King of Israel.” However, others say that he has remained in power for too long and don’t believe he should become prime minister while facing trial on corruption charges.

Netanyahu has denied the charges.

Concerns also remain about Ben-Gvir, who has pledged to weaken the country’s judicial branch in favor of giving more power to elected officials.

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