Israel’s Netanyahu gives up on forming new coalition

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JOSEF FEDERMAN Associated Press JERUSALEM (AP) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Monday that he had failed to form a majority government in parliament, marking a major setback for the embattled Israeli leader that plunges the country into a new period of political uncertainty. In a statement, Netanyahu said he had worked "tirelessly" to establish a unity government with his chief rival, former military chief Benny Gantz, but been repeatedly rebuffed. Facing a Wednesday deadline, Netanyahu said he was returning the "mandate" to President Reuven Rivlin, who will now ask Gantz to try to form a coalition. Gantz, however, could face an equally difficult task. While Netanyahu remains at the helm of his Likud party, his announcement marked the second time this year that he has
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