Israel’s president on September 25 tasked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with forming a new government after last week’s deadlocked elections, his office announced.
The announcement followed a joint meeting between President Reuven Rivlin, Mr. Netanyahu and the premier’s challenger Benny Gantz.
Mr. Netanyahu will have 28 days to form a government, with a possible two-week extension.
If all attempts fail, Mr. Rivlin can then assign the task to someone else.
Mr. Rivlin has been urging Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Gantz to form a unity government, but a compromise appears a long way off.
Final results from the September 17 elections gave Mr. Gantz’s centrist Blue and White 33 seats, ahead of Likud’s 32 out of parliament’s 120.
Neither has a clear path to a majority coalition.
Mr. Netanyahu received the endorsement of 55 members of parliament for the post of Prime Minister after the election, while Mr. Gantz received 54.