Israel's president says he has decided to give opposition leader Benny Gantz the first opportunity to form a new government following an inconclusive national election this month.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his main challenger Benny Gantz had failed to form a coalition government in the past two elections in April and September.
Benjamin Netanyahu says annexation of strategically crucial Jordan Valley and other parts of occupied West Bank was his top priority among "four major immediate missions," in interview ahead of Monday's election.
Opposition leader Benny Gantz says his centrist Blue and White party will form next government without support of Arab parties and indicted PM Benjamin Netanyahu, two weeks before national election.
Opposition politicians accuse the Israeli prime minister of putting his personal interests above those of the state.
Paving the path to an unprecedented third election within a year, the preliminary vote on dissolution passed without objections. A new election is expected to be called for March 2, 2020.
Kingmaker Avigdor Lieberman refuses to back either Benjamin Netanyahu or rival Benny Gantz for prime minister, pushing the country into more political uncertainty.
Israeli politicians no longer have the Palestinians or Arabs to unite voters against and are forced to face battle the country's internal contradictions and deep polarisation.
Gantz has been given a mandate to cultivate support from several political parties and form a government within the next 26 days, a gigantic task Netanyahu failed to achieve.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin gives PM Benjamin Netanyahu up to six weeks to form a coalition, and If he fails, his main challenger Benny Gantz will likely be given a chance. Gantz rules out joining government with PM facing indictment.
President Reuven Rivlin is expected to select the candidate he deems most able to form a stable coalition based on recommendations by PM Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud and Benny Gantz's Blue and White parties.
Israel's Arab-dominated Joint List party, backed Benny Gantz to form a new government, making Gantz's bloc of supporters larger than that of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
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