Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz attends a news conference in Tel Aviv after failing to form a government [Amir Levy/Getty Images]

For the first time in Israeli history, the country’s ceremonial president announced no candidate has been able to form a government.

Reuven Rivlin informed parliament on Thursday neither Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nor his chief challenger, retired military chief Benny Gantz, have completed the task of building a coalition in the allotted timeframe.

The formal expiration of the presidential mandate kicks off the final 21-day window before new elections must be called.


Rivlin called it a “miserable political situation” and pleaded with legislators to find some form of compromise.

“These are harsh dark days in the annals of the

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