Negotiations kicked off with delegates of Netanyahu's Likud Party, which won the March 17 elections with 30 seats, to be followed by a series of meetings in Parliament with parties such as the ultra-orthodox Shas and United Torah Judaism, Efe.

Talks are also being held with nationalist parties Israel Beitenu and Jewish Home, who are competing for defence and foreign portfolios.

Netanyahu, who is forming his third consecutive government with a decidedly right-wing coalition, prefers to leave these positions to Likud, although it is possible that Avigdor Lieberman, leader of Israel Beitenu, will stay on as Foreign Minister, a post he has held since 2013, reported on Thursday.

The Prime Minister will perhaps have more trouble with the centralist Kulanu party, whose leader, Moshe Kahlon, has already been promised the finance portfolio, through which he hopes to apply a series of social reforms to curb the housing crisis and high cost of living.

The same party, however, would also require two non-ministerial positions vital to implement such reforms, the presidency of the Parliamentary Finance Committee and the Interior Ministry Planning Administration, which Netanyahu has already promised to the ultra-Orthodox parties.

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