Netanyahu and Peres 370.
(photo credit: Koby Gideon/GPO)
President Shimon Peres agreed to grant Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu a two-week extension to form a governing coalition after Netanyahu failed to do so in the four weeks granted to him following the Knesset election.
Netanyahu stated that while he had made progress toward forming a coalition, political parties deciding to "boycott" other parties had prevented him from doing so.
The prime minister stated that he wished to form a broad-based government to deal with the issues facing the country, and boycotts do not fit his prerogative.
Netanyahu's efforts to form a coalition have thus far been prevented by a pact between Yesh Atid and Bayit Yehudi, who have refused to join the government without one another. Likud Beytenu has claimed that the parties have refused to sit in a government with haredi parties.
Netanyahu said Saturday that the leaders of political parties must "display responsibility" and make efforts to "unite, rather than divide." He stated that goals, such as renewing negotiations for a peace process with the Palestinians, require an inclusive government.
The prime minister said that the Jewish people have suffered boycotts throughout their history and therefore should know not to partake in them. In an apparent reference to Bayit Yehudi, Netanyahu stated that settlers, who face boycotts of their products everyday, should understand the harm that they do more than anyone.