Gantz and Netanyahu tie in poll as Israeli elections near

Gantz and Netanyahu tie in poll as Israeli elections near
Former Israeli army commander Benny Gantz has tied with Netanyahu in the latest opinion polls as Israeli elections near.
2 min read
01 February, 2019
The Israeli elections will take place on 9 April [AFP]

Former Israeli army chief has tied with current prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu in the latest opinion polls with elections in Israel just two months away.

According to a poll by Israel’s Reshet Channel 13 News regarding who is most suitable for prime minister, both Benny Gantz and Netanyahu tied at 42 percent each.

Analysts say Gantz’s success is due to a powerful speech he gave days before, along with his alliance with former Israeli army commander Moshe Ya’alon.

He is considered the largest challenge to Netanyahu's lengthy rule as prime minister. 

Earlier this week, Gantz promised to oust Netanyahu in a speech.

He promised a conservative diplomatic and security policy, pledging to keep the strategic Jordan Valley area of the occupied West Bank under Israeli rule, along with the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights and east Jerusalem.

He also promised to keep up a tough stance on Iran and its military presence in Syria, which borders Israel.

"In the harsh and violent Middle East surrounding us, only the strong win," he told several hundred supporters in Tel Aviv.

He also answered critics who have said that he was likely to take a job in Netanyahu's next government if he could not beat him at the polling booth.

"Four years after completing my service as commander in chief, I am asking for your confidence so that I may lead Israel," he said.

Israeli elections are set to take place on 9 April.