JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israeli President Reuven Rivlin gave Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu two more weeks to form a government.
Rivlin and Netanyahu met on Monday at the Presidents’ Residence in Jerusalem to discuss Netanyahu’s need for extra time. Rivlin is authorized by the country’s Basic Law to allocate an additional two weeks.
Netanyahu had noted at Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting that he would require extra time to complete his negotiations with other parties to form a new government due to “scheduling constraints stemming from the many events this time.” Among the constraints he mentioned were Passover, Holocaust Remembrance Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, and the escalation in violence and rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip.
Under the Basic Law, the elected official selected by the county’s president to form the government has 28 days to do so, and the president can grant an extension of two weeks.
Netanyahu now has until May 29 to sign coalition agreements with other parties to form a ruling coalition.