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Israel's Netanyahu retains party leadership, ahead of elections

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won a Dec. 26 party leadership contest, retaining the helm at the conservative Likud party ahead of the country's next general election in March 2020, The New York Times reported.

About 49% of Likud's 116,048 eligible members voted in the party primary, with Netanyahu securing 72% of the votes, while former Education and Interior Minister Gideon Saar, who initiated the challenge, received 28% of the votes.

Saar, who conceded defeat, reportedly pledged to back Netanyahu in the upcoming general elections.

Israel's longest-serving leader, Netanyahu, who is facing corruption charges, failed to form a government following elections in April and September.