But the parliament has a majority among hard-line parties, making it easier for Mr Netanyahu to form the next government and take over as prime minister.
Kadima Party leader Tzipi Livni, the current foreign minister, is also trying to attract coalition partners. One possibility is a joint government. Mr Netanyahu would be prime minister, while Ms Livni and her party would receive key government ministries.
The premier-designate has six weeks to form a coalition government and win approval from the new parliament.
COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? firstname.lastname@example.org