(Last Updated On: September 24, 2019)

Israel’s two largest parties met Tuesday to discuss the possibility of forming a unity government after last week’s deadlocked national election. The impasse could potentially force a third election in less than a year.

The meeting between party representatives comes a day after Blue and White leader Benny Gantz and PM Benjamin Netanyahu of the rival Likud party held their first working meeting since the vote, AP said.

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Gantz’s centrist Blue and White came in first in the election with 33 seats, trailed by Netanyahu’s Likud with 31. With smaller allied parties, a total of 55 lawmakers have thrown their support behind Netanyahu, against 54 for Gantz, leaving both men short of the required 61-seat majority.

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A unity deal between the large parties, with a rotating leadership, is seen as perhaps the only way out of the gridlock. Gantz insists he should go first and has vowed not to partner with Likud so long as Netanyahu is at the helm.

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