"Bibi, Bibi!" cried out supporters of Benjamin Netanyahu, using his common nickname as they thronged the prime minister in Jerusalem's Mahaneh Yehuda market.
Standing on top of a stall in the historic marketplace, Netanyahu exhorted the crowd to vote for his Likud party lest the more left-leaning Yair Lapid be elected prime minister in his place. Lapid, a staunch supporter of a two-sate solution, is in a rotation agreement with former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz. Their Blue and White party is neck-and-neck in the polls with the ruling Likud party.
The shuk, as the market is colloquially called, is seen as Netanyahu territory with many shop keepers hanging Likud election banners in their stores.
"It's very late. Right now we have a gap of several mandates," Netanyahu stated of Tuesday's elections. "Lapid and Gantz are leading us. The only way to close the gap is to ensure that the Likud will form the next government."
"Some of our people are complacent... they say everything is fine, it's in your pocket, but it's not," he said. "Right now, if every Likud supporter does not go out together with his family and friends, we will wake up with Yair Lapid as prime minister."
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