Israel's president has formally tapped Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form a new government, giving the Israeli leader up to six weeks to put together a new ruling coalition.

Netanyahu's Likud Party captured 30 seats in last week's national election, making it the largest party in the 120-seat parliament. Although his party does not control a majority, party leaders controlling a total of 67 seats have recommended that Netanyahu lead the next government for what would be his third consecutive term as prime minister.

With these parties backing him, Netanyahu is all but guaranteed of forming a governing coalition. But the various partners will all be making conflicting demands for Cabinet portfolios, meaning that weeks of negotiations could lie ahead.