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Israel’s Netanyahu gives up on forming new coalition

🕐 1 min read

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s president says Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ended his quest to form a new coalition — a step that pushes the country into new political uncertainty.

Netanyahu fell short of securing a 61-seat parliamentary majority in last month’s national election. But President Reuven Rivlin gave Netanyahu the first opportunity to form a government because he had more support, 55 seats, than any other candidate.

Netanyahu had hoped to form a broad “unity” government with his chief rival, former military chief Benny Gantz. But late Monday, Netanyahu announced he came up short.

Rivlin says he will now give Gantz a chance to form a government, though Gantz does not appear to have enough support either.

If Gantz fails, Israel could hold its third election in less than one year.

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