The Likud party leader was chosen to form a government after a right-wing majority was elected in a Feb. 10 parliamentary election. Netanyahu has been shuttling between factions, trying to cobble together as broad a coalition as possible that will have a better chance of long-term survival.
Major stumbling blocks so far have been over the future of Palestinian statehood talks and strategies to heal a contracting economy.
But recently, two potentially important coalition partners have been butting heads over the legalisation of civil marriage. Secular nuptials are not recognised by the Jewish state's religious authority, the ultra-Orthodox Rabbinical Court. And clerics have a monopoly on marrying people in Israel.
Avigdor Lieberman, whose Yisrael Beiteinu party is the third largest, wants a new law, while the ultra-Orthodox Shas has said it would not join a government that promotes any such
change. Both Lieberman and Shas leader Eli Yishai have been key Netanyahu supporters in his post-election bid for the premiership.