Israel's prime minister says he wants a ``broad national unity government'' amid political deadlock over forming a government following last month's elections.
Speaking to his Cabinet, Benjamin Netanyahu said such a coalition is essential for Israel to face what he said were mounting security challenges around the region.
Netanyahu's challenger, former army chief Benny Gantz, is currently trying to form a government after Netanyahu failed at his attempt. The two are set to meet Sunday.
Gantz has also called for a unity government, but the two men diverge over its composition. Netanyahu wants his traditional religious and nationalist allies to sit with his Likud party and Gantz' Blue and White.
Gantz refuses to sit under a Netanyahu-led government while the long-serving leader faces likely indictment for corruption charges.