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Polls close in Israel's razor-tight election as Netanyahu seeks to keep power

TEL AVIV — Polls closed in Israel’s razor-tight election Tuesday as embattled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sought to maintain his decadelong hold on power.

The prime minister’s right-wing Likud party has been polling neck-and-neck with the centrist Blue and White party, led by former army chief of staff Benny Gantz.

Facing the end of his political career, and potentially even jail, Netanyahu pulled out all the stops throughout the campaign.

“War to the last minute,” he said on Twitter Tuesday in a late attempt to get supporters to the polls. “We will lose if you do not wake up.”

As voting closed it remained unclear whether Netanyahu’s efforts had paid off.

Exit polls appeared to indicate that the results were too close to call. Two of the country’s main broadcasters forecast Netanyahu may have fallen short, but all suggested a predictably tight result.

The polls can also be unreliable. Official final counts won’t be available for days, but a picture of the result should become clear on Wednesday.

Associated Press contributed.

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