English: Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli politician (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Likud party supporters react to exit poll results at the party's election headquarters In Tel Aviv.Tuesday, March 17, 2015. Israelis are voting in early parliament elections following a campaign focused on economic issues such as the high cost of living, rather than fears of a nuclear Iran or the Israeli-Arab conflict. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
JERUSALEM (AP) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared victory after a tight national election appeared to give him the upper hand in forming the country's next coalition government.
In a statement released on Twitter, Netanyahu says that "against all odds" his Likud party and the nationalist camp secured a "great victory."
Initial exit polls showed Netanyahu's Likud Party deadlocked with the center-left Zionist Union.
But the results indicated that Netanyahu will have an easier time cobbling together a majority coalition with hard-line and religious allies.
Netanyahu said he had already begun to call potential partners.