"This means that under the law, starting from today and within 21 days, the decision on whom will bear the burden of forming the next government is vested in Knesset lawmakers... This is a serious challenge for the state of Israel", Rivlin said at a special ceremony in his residence in Jerusalem.
The president officially notified Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein on Netanyahu and Gantz's failure, adding that now the lawmakers would be tasked with forming the government.
According to Israeli law, any member who wins a parliamentary majority during the period, which will end on 11 December, will be appointed as prime minister. If no majority is gained, the law requires that the Knesset be dissolved, and Israel will be forced to make arrangements for a third election campaign.
After the first Knesset elections in April, Netanyahu had the opportunity to form a new government coalition with the support of the largest number of elected deputies, but he failed to assemble a coalition of a parliamentary majority.
The second election in September saw Gantz pull slightly ahead of the current prime minister, but his party was still short of a majority. Amid Gantz’s unsuccessful efforts, the right to form the government can be granted to any deputy who is able to unite 61 parliamentarians into one coalition.