Extension of the Deadline for the Formation of the Israeli Government
Israeli President, Reuven Rivlin, extended the time available to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to finish his government formation until May 29.
According to Israeli law, Netanyahu received an initial 28-day term to form a government, with a 14-day extension, with the initial term ending on Wednesday.
Netanyahu is negotiating with all the rightist, nationalist and religious parties that formed his previous government, and the Gaza Strip is dominated by the negotiations on forming a government.
The new coalition is expected to include 16 members of the hardline Jewish parties, the right-wing Nationalist Party, Yisrael Beiteinu and the right-wing Kolano party.
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said after the announcement of the extension that talks would continue, but the strategy on the Gaza Strip remained a sticking point.
Lieberman, whose party has five seats in the Knesset, said he wanted to be reappointed as defense minister.
No party in Israel won an overwhelming majority in the 120-seat Knesset, making coalition governments a centerpiece of Israeli political life.
If Netanyahu fails to form a coalition by May 29, the Israeli president can appoint another member of the Knesset to form a government, and Benny Gantz, a former military commander who won his 35-seat party in the Knesset, is likely to become an alternative to Netanyahu at this stage .
Among the most pressing issues awaiting the new Israeli government is President Donald Trump’s plan to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which Washington said would be unveiled in June.
Netanyahu won a fifth term on April 9 in an election that was considered a referendum on his leadership, especially as he faces corruption charges.
If charged, 69-year-old Netanyahu will not legally have to step down until he is convicted and all appeals are over.