Exit polls indicate there is no clear winner in Tuesday’s Israeli election, leaving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s fate uncertain and signalling continued political deadlock.
The polls on Israel’s three main TV stations showed Mr Netanyahu and his religious and nationalist allies, as well as diverse array of opponents, both falling short of a parliamentary majority.
That could set the stage for weeks of paralysis and even an unprecedented fifth consecutive election.
Mr Bennett shares Mr Netanyahu’s hard-line nationalist ideology but has signalled he would be open to cooperating with his rivals if given the chance to be prime minister.
Later, Mr Netanyahu claimed a “great victory” for his right-wing bloc, despite the still inconclusive results.
In a statement on Facebook late on Tuesday, Mr Netanyahu says Israelis have “given a great victory to the right and to the Likud under my leadership”.
The Likud emerged as the largest individual party and right-wing parties dominated the results, according to exit polls.
But some of those parties oppose Mr Netanyahu, making it unclear whether he will be able to form a new government.