Isreali Prime Minister Benjamin Ne-tanyahu faild to win a ruling ma-jority in an election that produced a virtual tie between his right-wing bloc and a centre-left grouping that would be led by former military chief Benny Gantz.The outcome, according to almost

complete results published on Wednesday, dealt a new blow to Israel’s

longest-serving leader who was already weakened by the inability to put together an administration after an inconclusive election in April. But with coalition-building again key to forming a government, it could be days or even weeks before it becomes clear whether the wily politician hailed by supporters as “King Bibi” has been dethroned after a decade in power.With Israeli media reporting more than 90 percent of votes counted in Tuesday’s election, the bloc led by Netanyahu’s Likud party was more or less even with a likely grouping headed by Gantz’s centrist Blue and White party.A Likud-led bloc looked poised to control 55 of parliament’s 120 seats, with 56 going to a centre-left alliance, numbers falling short of a majority government of 61 lawmakers.

A Likud spokesman said the leaders of right-wing factions met Netanyahu at the prime minister’s office on Wednesday and pledged to work with him to form the next government.The ballot’s wildcard, former Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman, emerged as a likely kingmaker as head of the secular-nationalist Yisrael Beitenu party, projected to capture nine seats.Lieberman has been pushing for a unity government comprised of the biggest parties. He declined to back Netanyahu’s bid to form a narrow right-wing and religious coalition after the April election, bringing about Tuesday’s unprecedented repeat vote.Netanyahu, who made his close relationship with U.S. President Donald Trump a main selling point in his campaign, has made no claim of victory or concession of defeat, and he planned to address Likud party legislators later in the day.Some of the party’s leaders issued nearly identical statements expressing

their allegiance to Netanyahu. “He remains party chairman and its candidate to continue as prime minister,” said Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz of Likud.Netanyahu, 69, appeared fatigued and hoarse in a 3 a.m. election night speech to party faithful earlier on Wednesday in which he said he intended

to form a “Zionist government”,

without Arab parties that