Israel’s president on Wednesday tasked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by forming a new government following a week’s deadlocked elections, his office announced.
The statement followed a joint meeting involving President Reuven Rivlin, Netanyahu and the premier’s challenger Benny Gantz.
If all attempts fail, Rivlin can subsequently delegate the job to somebody else.
Rivlin has been advocating Netanyahu and Gantz to make a unity government, but a compromise looks a long way off.
Last results from September 17 elections gave Gantz’s centrist Blue and White 33 seats, before Likud’s 32 from parliament’s 120.
Neither has a clear route to a vast majority coalition.
Netanyahu received the approval of 55 members of parliament to the post of prime minister after the election, even while Gantz obtained 54.