NBC News reports:
The deadline for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s chief political rival to form a government elapsed Wednesday, increasing the chances the nation will be headed toward an unprecedented fourth election in little over a year.
Last-minute talks between Netanyahu and the Blue and White alliance’s leader Benny Gantz failed to form a coalition for Israel’s next government, as well as failing to form a national “emergency” government with Netanyahu. This means the task of forming the government will now return to the Israeli parliament for a period of 21 days.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Monday agreed to Gantz’s request to extend his mandate giving him two more days to pursue coalition talks with Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party. Rivlin had already declined an earlier request by Likud to hand the mandate to Netanyahu.