Israeli PM Lapid concedes defeat to Netanyahu in election

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s office says he has conceded defeat to former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in this week’s election.

A statement said Lapid congratulated Netanyahu and has instructed his office to prepare an organized transition of power.

“The state of Israel comes before any political consideration,” Lapid said. “I wish Netanyahu success, for the sake of the people of Israel and the state of Israel.”

Lapid, who has served as interim prime minister for the past four months, made the announcement after a near-final vote count showed Netanyahu securing a parliamentary majority. Final results were expected later Thursday.

The former prime minister is expected to head the country’s most right-wing government in history when he takes power, likely in the coming weeks. Click here for complete coverage: