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Israel's Netanyahu gets two-week extension to form government

May 13, 2019 / Jeffrey Heller

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received extra time on Monday to form a new government, Israel’s president announced, granting the right-wing leader a two-week extension until May 29. In office for a decade, Netanyahu won a record fifth term in an April 9 parliamentary election, largely seen as an effective referendum on his leadership since he faces possible indictment in three corruption cases. He denies the charges. Netanyahu is negotiating terms with nearly all the right-wing, nationalist and religious parties that form his outgoing government. No party in Israel has ever won an outright majority in the 120-seat Knesset, making coalition governments the norm with political negotiations often dragging on. One issue in the current talks is the Gaza Strip.