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Netanyahu, Gantz Begin Negotiations Over New Government

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and rival Benny Gantz began their negotiations over the formation of a new government on Monday evening in a meeting at President Reuven Rivlin’s residence in Jerusalem.

Currently, the premier and the Kahol Lavan leader are locked in a stalemate as both insist on being first to serve as prime minister in a future rotation deal.

Rivlin summoned them for the meeting following two days of consultations with Israeli party leaders in order to decide which of them should be given the mandate to try and form a governing coalition, after neither managed to obtain the necessary 61-seat majority following Tuesday’s election.

Netanyahu secured 55 recommendations –  from his own Likud party, the ultra-Orthodox parties Shas and United Torah Judaism and right-wing alliance Yamina. Gantz got 54 recommendations –  from his own party, from Labor-Gesher’s six elected representatives and the Democratic Union’s five as well as from the Arab Joint List.