Benny Gantz
Benny GantzKobi Richter, TPS

The center-left Blue and White party has ceased its efforts to collect signatures in support of its chairman, MK Benny Gantz, receiving another chance at forming a coalition, Kan News reported Monday morning.

According to the report, the decision follows an understanding that Yisrael Beytenu will not sign a recommendation for either Gantz or Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and therefore neither will be able to form a government.

MK Avigdor Liberman, Yisrael Beytenu's chairman, said Sunday that his willingness to sign a recommendation in support of Gantz and Netanyahu is contingent on the two working towards the formation of a unity government.

Blue and White also understands that at this stage, asking members of the Joint Arab List to support Gantz's bid for premier will harm the party's chances in upcoming elections, the report said. The party is also concerned that if Gantz succeeds in collecting 61 signatures and is asked to form a coalition but fails for a second time, the party will suffer in upcoming elections.

Both Gantz and Netanyahu were granted opportunities to form a government, and both were forced to return the mandate to do so to Rivlin, after failing to garner the 61 MKs necessary to form a coalition.

On December 11, if no one has succeeded in gathering the signatures of 61 supporting MKs and forming a coalition, Israel will be forced to hold new elections - its third in a year.