Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is on course for a fifth term in office [Ammar Awad/Reuters]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to win re-election after his main rival conceded defeat.

With more than 99 percent of votes counted, Netanyahu’s Likud party was set to lead a right-wing bloc with 65 of the 120 seats in parliament.

His main challenger, Benny Gantz, accepted the result on Wednesday, acknowledging that he had failed to unseat the prime minister.

“We respect the decision of the people,” he told reporters.

Although Gantz’s Blue and White Party was set to win a similar number of seats to Likud, there was no obvious path for its leader to find a parliamentary majority.

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