JERUSALEM – Israeli President began on Sunday to consult with party leaders who will lead the country after last week's clear election victory did not emerge. This suggests that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud unites with his main rival. For the second time in five months, Wing Likud failed to win a clear election victory. Benny Gantz, the centrist blue-white party led by ex-army chief Benny Gantz, has a slight advantage over almost all the votes cast.
So far, Gantz has rejected Netanyahu's request to join a unitary government.
Almost final results show Blue and White will be the largest single party in the new parliament with 33 of the 1
President Reuven Rivlin began consultations with the parties on Sunday over the election of a leader to form a coalition.
In a meeting with the Likud party leaders, Rivlin said it would be about the two "biggest parties, the first and the second, which are almost the same size to unite … so you can band together managing and setting up a system, that creates a stable government. "
" People want that, none of us can ignore that, "he said.
There was little difference in the campaigns of the two main parties haunting many key issues and ending the Netanyahu era It is unlikely that the policy regarding relations with the United States, the regional fight against Iran or significantly changes the Palestinian conflict.
Netanyahu and Gantz will now seek potential coalition allies, including the far-right former Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman. He secured eight seats for his Yisrael Beitenu party and became a potential kingmaker.
Lieberman reiterated his demand for a unity government on Sunday and said he would not recommend a candidate in his meeting with Rivlin.
Gantz, however, The Arab-Dominated Common List, which stated that it was ending its usual policy of not supporting any of the main candidates after the elections.
"We want to end the era of Netanyahu, so we recommend this. Benny Gantz will be the one to form the next government," Party leader Ayman Odeh told Rivlin.
Following an increase in the turnout of the 21 percent Arab minority in Israel, the Joint List gained 13 seats, making it the third largest group.
Their support does not mean that they will sit in the governing coalition, but their support gives Gantz – center-left block 57 seats compared to Netanyahu's right-wing block of 55.
Religious parties called Haredim Shas won nine seats and United Torah Judaism won eight seats, representing Israel's ultra-orthodox communities.
The right-hand Yamina won seven seats, the left Labor-Gesher six and the Democratic Union five. The full official results will be published on Wednesday.