Prime Minister-designate Benny Gantz and the leader of a blue-white party Wednesday night re-authorized Israeli President Reuven Rivlin to form a government after failing to do so.
This came before the expiry of the deadline given to Gants to form a government midnight.
The move increases the likelihood that Israel will go to the polls for the third time in a year.
Gantz thanked President Rivlin and said in a statement that he would continue to make efforts to help form a good government that works for Israel’s citizens.
For the first time, any Knesset member, including Gantz and Netanyahu, will have 21 days to win the approval of at least 61 members to try to form a coalition government.
Earlier on Wednesday, Gantz charged outgoing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after talks over forming a unity government failed.
Gantz was appointed to form the government after Netanyahu failed to form it, following elections last September, the second in half a year.
The White Blue party led the last election with 33 seats, one ahead of Netanyahu’s Likud, but neither party was able to form a coalition with 61 seats and thus a majority government in the 120-seat Knesset.
Netanyahu won the support of 55 deputies from right-wing and religious parties, while Gantz won the support of 54 deputies from parties belonging to the center and left.
Netanyahu failed to form a coalition after the elections in April.
New elections were called last September.