Netanyahu's Likud wins Israeli election

Updated: 2015-03-18 14:49


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Netanyahu's Likud wins Israeli election

Likud party supporters listen to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (not pictured) deliver a speech in Tel Aviv March 18, 2015.[Photo/Agencies]

Outlook on US-Israeli ties

Netanyahu's return to power likely spells trouble for Mideast peace efforts and could further escalate tensions with the United States.

Netanyahu, who already has a testy relationship with President Barack Obama, took a sharp turn to the right in the final days of the campaign, staking out a series of hard-line positions that will put him at odds with the international community.

In a dramatic policy reversal, he said he now opposes the creation of a Palestinian state _ a key policy goal of the White House and the international community. He also promised to expand construction in Jewish areas of east Jerusalem, the section of the city claimed by the Palestinians as their capital.

Netanyahu infuriated the White House early this month when he delivered a speech to the US Congress criticizing an emerging nuclear deal with Iran. The speech was arranged with Republican leaders and not coordinated with the White House ahead of time.

In Washington, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Obama was confident strong US-Israeli ties would endure far beyond the election regardless of the victor.

Netanyahu focused his campaign on security issues, while his opponents instead pledged to address the country's high cost of living and accused the leader of being out of touch with everyday people.

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