Netanyahu rival and Kahol Lavan leader Benny Gantz will have 28 days to try to establish a coalition once Rivlin hands him the mandate, which the PM just returned

Benjamin Netanyahu prepares to speak at an official ceremony in Jerusalem, May 5, 2019.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Monday that he cannot establishment a new Israeli government and that he is returning the mandate to form a coalition to President Reuven Rivlin, paving the way for a different candidate to try to create a government for the first time in over a decade.

The premier made the announcement two days before his final deadline to present a coalition. Rivlin stated in response that he intends to tap the prime minister’s rival and Kahol Lavan leader Benny Gantz. He is expected to formally announce his decision within 72 hours, by Thursday evening.

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