Netanyahu granted two more weeks to form government


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli President Reuven Rivlin granted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s request for an additional two weeks in which to form a government.

Netanyahu asked for the additional time in a meeting Monday morning with Rivlin. The prime minister, whose Likud party won the most votes in last month’s election, is entitled to the extra time under Israeli law, according to the President’s Office.

At the start of the meeting, Netanyahu told Rivlin that progress had made in forming the government.

“However, I require additional time in order for the government to be stable and so that we might reach agreement on important issues that will aid us in meeting the challenges facing the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu has spent 28 days trying to form a ruling government coalition.

“I wish you success in your work,” Rivlin said. “The entire people of Israel hope that a government will be established; indeed, a transition government has not received the confidence of the Knesset and is viewed by the public as needing to be dealt with. I hope that in the coming days you will succeed in forming a stable government for the State of Israel.”

As of Monday afternoon, Likud had not signed coalition agreements with any parties. Likud representatives are negotiating with the Yisrael Beiteinu, Jewish Home, Kulanu, Shas and United Torah Judaism parties.

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