TEL AVIV—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in danger of missing a midnight deadline to form a new government, in what could spell the end of his 15-year rule.
After an inconclusive election in March, neither Mr. Netanyahu nor his rivals had a clear path to assembling an administration but more lawmakers recommended that Israel’s president give the prime minister the first shot at forming a coalition.
After weeks of discussions and a plethora of proposals, including some in which Mr. Netanyahu offered to temporarily step aside, he appeared set to fail Tuesday, unable to overcome objections from his right-wing and religious partners to forming a government that would require the support of an Islamist party.
If he is unable to form a coalition, Mr. Netanyahu’s best hope would be that his rivals, who are mainly united by their opposition to him, also fail and propel Israel toward its fifth election since 2019. That would keep him in power for at least a few more months as he defends himself in a corruption trial that began in May 2020 and could drag on for years. He denies any wrongdoing.
“His dream right now is to keep going. Not only a fifth election, but maybe a sixth, or seventh or eighth,” said Emmanuel Navon, a professor of political science at Tel Aviv University and a former member of Mr. Netanyahu’s party, Likud.