Netanyahu clutching onto a political lifeline

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Tel Aviv

Israel’s president has thrown Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a political lifeline, asking him to try to form a government after he failed to secure a clear election victory twice in six months. The inconclusive ballot on September 17 left had Netanyahu weakened and his right-wing Likud party in second place, with 32 seats versus 33 for former armed forces chief Benny Gantz’s centrist Blue and White party in the 120-member parliament. But neither leader was able on his own to put together a coalition with a ruling majority, or reach a power-sharing deal for a unity government between their two parties. Facing stalemate, President Reuven Rivlin tasked Netanyahu on Wednesday with what could be an impossible mission—Reuters

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