Benny Gantz: I will continue to fight for our voters, activists

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked voters on Monday night after exit poll results showed a win for the Likud Party.

Benny Gantz, leader of Blue and White party, speaks during an election campaign rally in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv, Israel, February 25, 2020. (photo credit: REUTERS/CORINNA KERN)
Benny Gantz, leader of Blue and White party, speaks during an election campaign rally in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv, Israel, February 25, 2020.
(photo credit: REUTERS/CORINNA KERN)
"Thank you to the thousands of activists and over a million voters who voted for Blue and White," wrote Blue and White leader Benny Gantz on Twitter on Monday night after the Likud Party seemed to be leading significantly in the exit polls. "I will continue to fight for a way for you."
Joint List chairman Ahmad Tibi pointed at racism as the reason for the Blue and White Party's apparent loss.
"The failure is that of Blue and White, which needs to reach conclusions due to the way it addressed the Arab public and statements about the 'Jewish majority,'" Tibi said. "The racism didn't work."
Joint List leader Ayman Odeh, however, saw the exit poll results as a win, calling it "the biggest parliamentary accomplishment for the democratic Arabs and Jews since the first Knesset."
Odeh later added on Twitter that the exit polls showed a "disgraceful failure for Blue and White."
"The only way to win is to present an alternative," he continued. "Every time you break right, you lose."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted on Monday night a simple "thank you" to those who voted for the Likud Party in the third elections Israel has had in a year, after exit polls showed a win for the right-wing bloc.

"The right won," Yamina head Naftali Bennett said in reaction to the exit polls. "As promised before the elections, we will recommend the prime minister to the president, Benjamin Netanyahu, to form a national right-wing government."
"Today, the Israeli sovereignty is established," Bennett said soon after at a Yamina rally.
"Yamina is staying united," he announced. "There is one large Yamina."
Netanyahu, according to the Likud Party, already spoke with the heads of the right-wing bloc parties and agreed with them to form a strong national government for Israel immediately.
Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman said, "I saw the exit polls, which are significantly different from all the other polls released lately by the same pollsters. I think that there is no choice but to wait for the true results and perform an evaluation. It is very hard when there are such big gaps between exit polls."
"Gantz needs to call the prime minister to admit defeat," Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev told Channel 13.
Gantz's personal advisor, Ronen Tsur, told Channel 12 that "they will have to check if there was intentional tampering with the Blue and White campaign."
Yamina MK Ayelet Shaked said that they hope "the soldier voices will decide and will allow the creation of a national government."
National Union head Bezalel Smotrich said that election nght was a "big night for the State of Israel... We will continue to move forward with full force."
Shas leader Aryeh Deri tweeted shortly after the exit poll results, "We promise that the Shas representatives will continue to work for the people of Israel."
"We were attacked in ugly, criminal campaigns," said Otzma Yehudit leader Itamar Ben Gvir, whose party did not reach the necessary seats to pass the electoral threshold. "They really want to destroy our way. They don't really want a right-wing government that acts."
Knesset chairman Yuli Edelstein said that "according to the results of the exit polls, this is a huge win for the Likud and for Prime Minister Netanyahu."
And Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan called it, "A big victory for Likud and Netanyahu. I hope the true results will remain as they are or even be strengthened. If so, then we will quickly form a national government ... and focus on sovereignty."
Health Minister and UTJ head Yaakov Litzman spoke with Netanyahu shortly after and congratulated him, according to UTJ. The two scheduled to meet on Tuesday morning.
"If these are the true results, Netanyahu won and we lost," Blue and White MK Ofer Shelach said simply.
"Settlement, annexation and apartheid won," said PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat on Monday night. "Netanyahu decided that the continuation of the occupation and the conflict is what brings Israel progress and prosperity."
Hamas spokesperson Hazam Qasem responded to the exit polls, saying, "Israel will remain an oppressive entity, our people will continue its fight until it achieves its goal."
Islamic Jihad spokesperson Musab Barim said, "Reliance on continuing resistance and on our unity is the crux of the next phase of the fight with the enemy."
Exit polls published by Channel 12 predict that the Likud Party stands at 37 seats while Blue and White is on 33 seats. The Joint List, according to the poll, has 14 seats. A total of 9 seats are predicted for Shas and 7 for UTJ, while another 7 seats are for Yamina. Otzma Yehudit will not pass the threshold. Labor-Gesher-Meretz are predicted to receive 7 seats, meaning the right-wing bloc stands at 60 seats altogether whilst the center-left stands at 40, with Yisrael Beytenu on 6.
According to the initial Channel 13 exit polls, the Likud is on 37 seats and Blue and White is on 32. The Joint List is expected to receive 14 seats while Shas should have 9 seats and UTJ are predicted to receive 8. Yisrael Beytenu is expected to get 8 seats. Yamina is expected to get 6 seats and Labor-Gesher-Meretz will get 6. Otzma Yehudit are expected not to pass the threshold with 0 seats. This would determine that the right-wing bloc receives 60 seats while the center-left receives 52.