Hours after Benjamin Netanyahu won the Israeli election, a rocket was fired into the Jewish country from Gaza, signalling tense days ahead in the region.
The Israeli army said it intercepted the projectile from Gaza, while reports said Israeli regions on the border were on high alert. "One rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip... The rocket appears to have been intercepted," an army statement said.
This was the first rocket attack from the Hamas-controlled Gaza strip after the 3-day conflict between Israel and the Islamic Jihad militant group in August.
Netanyahu declared victory in the Israeli elections Thursday, when early results indicted his alliance would grab the majority in the Knesset. Even as the final thousands of votes were being counted, Prime Minister Yair Lapid conceded the election and made a phone call to Netanyahu to congratulate the veteran leader.
"The State of Israel is above any political considerations ... I wish Netanyahu good luck for the people of Israel and the State of Israel," Lapid said, according to the Times of Israel.
Netanyahu's Bloc wins 64 Seats
The latest results indicate that Netanyahu's bloc has 64 seats in the 120-member Knesset. While Netanyahu's Likud party remains the single biggest party, his ultra right wing allies made significant progress in this election, pointing to the possibility that the incoming administration will adopt a hawkish line in dealing with Palestine and Hamas.
While Lapid's Yesh Atid party won 24 seats, his bloc of right-wing, left-wing and Arab parties got a total of 51 seats.
"We have won a huge vote of confidence from the people of Israel ... We are on the brink of a very big victory," he added vowing to form a "stable, national government," Netanyahu said, declaring victory.
Gains for Ultra Right, the Left Shrinks
The Religious Zionist Party, which is led by ultra right wing leader Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, was projected to win as many as 13 to 14 seats, the Jerusalem Post reported. This would mark significant gains for the party compared with previous elections.
While Defense Minister Benny Gantz's National Unity Party was likely to get 11 seats, Yisrael Beytenu could get up to six seats.
The Shas party, which is part of Netanyahu's bloc, is projected to get 10 seats, and the United Torah Judaism (UTJ) would get 7 seats. Both these right wing parties are seen making significant gains compared with the recent elections.
Israel Knesset building Israel Knesset building Wikimedia Commons / Beny Shlevich
The losses mainly pertain to Israel's Left wing parties, with Labor projected to win five seats and Meretz winning in four seats.
In the Arab bloc, Hadash-Ta'al and Ra'am could get up to five seats each, according to JPost.