UPDATED: Israel’s Netanyahu gets extension until Dec. 21 to form government

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JERUSALEM, Dec 9 (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu will have until Dec. 21 to form a new government after President Isaac Herzog granted him a 10-day extension, Herzog’s office said on Friday.

Netanyahu was tapped to form a new government after a right-wing victory in a Nov. 1 election. While he has secured majority support in parliament, he has yet to finalize the coalition agreements.

With his initial mandate set to expire on Sunday, Netanyahu sought the maximum two-week extension allowed by law. Herzog, whose job as head of state is largely ceremonial, gave him an extra 10 days.

“These are complex days for Israeli society when disputes over fundamental issues threaten to tear apart and ignite violence and hatred,” Herzog said in a letter to Netanyahu his office made public.

He called for the formation of government that represents the entire country and for a coalition that holds a respectful dialogue.

(Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch, Editing by William Maclean and Nick Macfie)

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