Israel's opposition leader moved closer to unseating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he told the country's president late on Wednesday that he has reached agreements with political allies to form a new government.
Here is a timeline of events that led to the emerging coalition deal between centrist Yair Lapid and the far-right Naftali Bennett, and what happens next.
March 23, 2021
Israel holds its fourth inconclusive election in two years. As in previous votes, no party won a majority in the 120-seat parliament. Mr Netanyahu's right-wing Likud emerges as the biggest party.
Mr Lapid's centrist Yesh Atid (There is a Future) comes second. Mr Bennett's Yamina (Rightwards) party wins just six seats, but he emerges as kingmaker.
President Reuven Rivlin gives Mr Netanyahu 28 days to form a new government. He woos smaller right-wing and religious parties, including Yamina, but fails.
Mr Rivlin turns to Mr Lapid, who tries to form a “government of change” from an unlikely coalition of right-wing, centrist and leftist parties.
Such a coalition would be fragile and require outside backing by Arab members of Israel's parliament, who oppose much of the right-wing agenda of some in the group.
Fighting erupts between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, and unrest breaks out in many mixed Jewish-Arab cities in Israel. Coalition talks break down.
Ceasefire declared. Coalition talks resume.
Mr Bennett announces he will join centrist rivals to unseat Mr Netanyahu.
The deadline for Mr Lapid to announce whether he has formed a majority coalition was midnight on Wednesday, June 2.
[ About 30 minutes before the deadline Mr Lapid told Mr Rivlin he had succeeded in forming a government. ]
Mr Rivlin's office issued a statement saying: “We expect the Knesset will convene as soon as possible to ratify the government, as required.”
New government expected to be sworn in.