Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called for a broad coalition with his main rival after failing to win a parliamentary majority.
President Reuven Rivlin, who is tasked with approving a new government, welcomed Netanyahu’s overture.
Earlier on Thursday, Netanyahu called on Gantz to join him in a broad, unity coalition after he said that there was no chance he could form a right-wing government after Israel’s deadlocked election.
With more than 97 percent of the vote counted, the centrist Blue and White party led by Gantz has 33 seats, while Netanyahu’s Likud party is behind with 31.
In a televised appearance, Netanyahu said he had been calling for the creation of a right-wing government but the results of the election proved that will not be possible.
“The people did not fully decide between the two blocs,” Netanyahu said of his and Gantz’s parties.
“Now I call on you, Benny Gantz, we have to create a wide-based unity government today. The people expect from us to be responsible, to cooperate, and that’s why I’m calling on you Benny,” he added.
“Let’s meet today, anytime, to ignite this move.”
There was no immediate response from Gantz or his party spokesperson. However, his office said he was expected to deliver a speech at 2pm (11:00 GMT) on Thursday.
On Wednesday, Gantz said he hoped for a “good, desirable unity government”. But he has also ruled out forming one with a Netanyahu-led Likud, citing looming corruption charges against the prime minister.