The haredi parties will play a significant role in helping opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu form a coalition, with the Shas party earning 10 seats and the United Torah Judaism (UTJ) party earning 7 seats, according to initial exit polls published on Tuesday night.
Shas chairman Arye Deri called the exit poll results a "tremendous achievement," saying the party would "soon return to the leadership of the state."
“We will work with all our might for the weak strata [of society], for the strengthening of Israel’s Jewish identity and the fight against the cost of living,” said Deri.
Shas MK Moshe Abutbul also responded to the exit poll results, stating “this is the result of hard work by all the activists of the movement, the representatives and members of the Knesset led by the chairman Rabbi Arye Deri and the virtue of Rabbi Obadia Yosef and Hacham Shalom Cohen stood for us. God willing, the true results will reveal the magnitude of the victory and we will replace the left-wing government.”
Meanwhile, the United Torah Judaism (UTJ) party announced that it would demand two ministries if they form a government with opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu.
“We sacrificed along the entire way and this has a price,” said UTJ, indicating that it would probably demand the housing and welfare ministries.