(JTA) — Israeli President Shimon Peres invited Benjamin Netanyahu to form the next government.
After hearing from Peres Friday, Netanyahu, who leads the Likud Party, immediately invited Tzipi Livni, the leader of the Kadima Party, and Ehud Barak, the leader of the Labor Party, to form a national unity government.
Such a government would help Netanyahu hew to a centrist foreign policy and sustain peace negotiations with the Palestinians and the Syrians.
Barak and Livni have said they favor going into the opposition.
Kadima scored the most seats, 28, in the Feb. 10 elections, but Netanyahu has the backing of enough right-wing parties to surpass the 60 seat mark and create a governing coalition.