Most votes have been counted and the polls in Israel suggest there is no clear winner in the closely fought general election. Both Mr Netanyahu and Mr Gantz’s parties won 35 seats each, the Israeli parliament the Knesset reports. However, with 97 percent of the votes counted, the nation’s three main TV station declared Mr Netanyahu the winner.
This is because Mr Netanyahu has more allies and is in a stronger position to form a coalition government with other right-wing factions that have backed him.
However, the close race saw the opposition alliance Blue and White fighting to the finish line and no one have accepted defeat so far.
Two exit polls predicted that right-wing parties allied to the Likud party were more likely to be able to form a governing coalition.
But a third exit poll predicted the bloc would be tied with centre-left parties allied to Mr Gantz.
Blue and White said in a statement: “We won! The Israeli public has had its say! These elections have a clear winner and a clear loser.”
However, Mr Netanyahu was also celebrating from his party’s election headquarters in Tel Aviv.
He said: ”It is a night of colossal victory. I’m very touched that, for the fifth time, the people of Israel have believed in me.”
Is Netanyahu still prime minister?
Mr Netanyahu is Israel’s incumbent prime minister and was seeking a fifth term in office in this year’s general election.
If Mr Netanyahu is re-elected he would be the nation’s longest-serving prime minister.
No party has ever won a majority in the Knesset’s 120-seat parliament and the country has always had coalition governments.
Al Jazeera’s senior political analyst Marwan Bishara said that based on all three exit polls, it is difficult to see how Mr Gantz can form a government without Likud, meaning it’s likely Mr Netanyahu will continue a the nation’s leader for another term.
Mr Bishara said: “He probably could depend on the eight Labor party seats, the five Meretz seats and that will get him something like 50 seats.
“He already said he will not go into a coalition with Arab parties, hence the best he can do is some 55 seats and that’s not a majority.”
But the outcome is far from clear – at the last election, the exit polls were dramatically wrong.