Israel's president has granted prime minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu a 10-day extension to clinch a coalition deal, as post-election negotiations with his right-wing allies grind on.
President Isaac Herzog told Netanyahu on Friday that he has decided "to extend the timeframe given to you to complete the task of forming a government by 10 days", according to a letter released by the presidency.
The November 1 election put Netanyahu in a position to form a stable government after an unprecedented period of political deadlock that forced five elections in less than four years.
Herzog on November 13 tapped veteran politician Netanyahu to form a government with a majority backing of extreme-right and ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties.
The premier-designate had appealed to the president on Thursday to extend the coalition deadline, which had been set to expire at midnight (2200 GMT) on Sunday, November 11, and give Netanyahu two more weeks to finalise coalition deals.
The president, who has already expressed reservations about some controversial members of the prospective coalition, said the new government "must work for the entire public in Israel".
Earlier, Netanyahu said that negotiations were "in full swing, and much progress has been made" to form a new government.
"However, I will require all the days of extension that you have the power to give me according to the law so that I can form the government,” Netanyahu wrote to Herzog in a letter, according to Israeli public broadcaster KAN.
Among those who were already granted top posts were Itamar Ben Gvir, infamous for his anti-Arab views, and the vocally anti-LGBTQ politician Avi Maoz.
On Thursday, Netanyahu's Likud Party signed a deal with the far-right Shas party to join the upcoming government.
KAN said that under the agreement, the head of the Shas party, Aryeh Deri, will serve as the health minister and interior minister during the first half of the government’s four-year term, while in the second half, he will serve as finance minister.
Netanyahu has so far reached agreements with several far-right parties, including the Religious Zionism party, the Jewish Strength party, and the Noam Party, while he is still negotiating with the United Torah party over legislation it requested.
Under these agreements, the Likud Party is expected to hold the ministries of defence, foreign affairs, justice, and infrastructure.
An election this November paved the way for Netanyahu, Israel's longest-serving prime minister, to return to power for the sixth time.