Yaakov Litzman
Yaakov LitzmanShlomi Cohen

United Torah Judaism chief and Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman said his party would endorse Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for an additional term as premier, and ruled out the possibility of joining a unity government which included Blue and White MK Yair Lapid.

In address Tuesday night, Litzman said the party had made an “amazing achievement” according to exit polls, which showed UTJ retaining its eight seats, despite an increase in overall voter turnout.

“We merited to have an amazing achievement and to increase the number of votes we received, but these are only the exit polls, and we’ll wait to see the final results.”

“We demonstrated loyalty to the great rabbis, sanctified God’s name, and we will not compromise on our values.”

Following Tuesday’s election, Litzman spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu, promising to recommend Netanyahu as premier.

Litzman added that while UTJ did not oppose the formation of a unity government per se, it would not join any coalition which included Blue and White MK Yair Lapid.

“We aren’t against a unity government, but it cannot included Lapid. Unfortunately, this election was filled with incitement and smears against haredim and religious people. We hope and wish that this terrible talk disappears immediately.”

Voter turnout increased in the Tuesday election over the April 9th election, rising to 69.4%.

While higher levels of overall turnout typically have a negative impact on the vote share of haredi parties, particularly UTJ, all three major exit polls show UTJ retaining its eight seats, with Shas gaining a seat in two of the polls.