Bibi faces coalition pressure from Yesh Atid and Jewish Home

Under pressure: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Photo: Flash 90)

Under pressure: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Photo: Flash 90)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced that he is looking to form a “national unity” government of right-wing and centre parties.

The prime minister, who was formally invited to form a government by President Shimon Peres on Saturday night, commenced talks with Yesh Atid - the second-largest party in the Knesset - and Jewish Home in Ramat Gan yesterday.

Yesh Atid and Jewish Home have formed a deal to either both join or abstain from the coalition, depending on whether Mr Netanyahu agrees to back a bill to create a universal IDF draft.

Mr Netanyahu was due to meet members of Hatnuah – led by Tzipi Livni - and Kadima today. Ms Livni is reportedly keen to join any coalition led by Mr Netanyahu.

On Saturday Mr Netanyahu also urged Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to resume peace talks.

Mr Netanyahu’s Likud Beiteinu party emerged as the largest party in the Knesset following the elections on January 22.

The Israeli prime minister has six weeks to form a coalition.

Last updated: 2:50pm, February 4 2013