The same channel states that the alliance of the Blue Center, Gantz won more, 37 parliamentary seats, and Netanyahu's conservative Likud 33.
"The right-wing bloc, led by Likud, won a decisive victory", Netanyahu tweeted Tuesday night as results rolled in.
But the results showed the Likud and other right-wing parties allied to the prime minister with some 65 seats in the 120-seat parliament. Former IDF Brigadier General Gal Hirsch's Magen party received just over 3,000 votes, Oren Hazan's Tzomet party got at least 2,300 votes, while the party of Israeli pensioners received between 1,000 and 1,500 of votes. Israel is governed by coalitions of parties, so the total number of the right- and left-wing blocs matter more than the size of the biggest party.
Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas) blasted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, labeling him as a "racist" who is opposed to peace in his country's region. Gantz has been the toughest challenger to his consecutive ten-year-long ruling.
The closely-contested race was widely seen in Israel as a referendum on Netanyahu's character and record in the face of corruption allegations.
"It's a night of tremendous victory", Netanyahu told supporters early Wednesday.
Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler of the Israel Democracy Institute deemed the strategy saw "a one-to-one imitation" of Trump's 2016 presidential campaign: "This was about both spreading fear and sowing a victim-like mistrust in the democratic institutions".
President Donald Trump said Wednesday that election results handing a narrow victory to right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu give a "better chance" to a yet to be unveiled U.S. peace plan. However, one of the challenges he would appear to be facing by joining such a coalition is the anticipated strength of Haredi religious parties in the government.
Prime Minster of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara greet supporters.More news: Hazard shines for Chelsea
He said his party will "embitter" Netanyahu's life from the opposition. The largest party in the outgoing Knesset, called the Zionist Union, held 24 seats, six fewer than Likud.
Haredi Orthodox parties also succeeded on Tuesday.
Israel's 21 percent Arab minority saw its parties lose seats.
Smotrich reiterated his intention to support the legislation of a law to prevent incumbent prime ministers from being indicted with criminal offenses.
In the end, even voters who'd grown exhausted or leery of Netanyahu opted to give him yet another term, rather than trust an opponent untested in political office. Anti-Semitism has been a highly debated topic in recent months following critical comments from freshman Muslim Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) about an Israeli organization called the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and its influence on American politics.
Ofer Zalzberg, a senior analyst at the International Crisis Group, said Netanyahu played to his constituency by portraying any future Palestinian state as a threat to Israel's security.
In a rare turn during the race towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Mr Netanyahu further alarmed Palestinians by pledged to annex Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank if re-elected.
Some votes - including of soldiers, diplomats, and prisoners - have yet to be counted because they cast their votes in unusual circumstances that take longer to be counted. He faces possible indictment in three graft cases, and has denied wrongdoing in all three.