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Peace talks between the two sides hit a dead end during Netanyahu's previous government on the question of continued Israeli settlement activities in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
Palestinians set a pre-condition to stop building activities in these areas that they claim to be a part of a future Palestinian state.
Peres last evening invited Netanyahu to form the government after talks with parties elected to Israel's new parliament.
"I have decided to charge Benjamin Netanyahu with forming the government," Peres said at a press conference in Jerusalem, after 82 of the 120 members of the Knesset had declared in favour of the premier.
"I hope that this task will soon be completed," the Nobel laureate Israeli President said, as Netanyahu, who has 28 days to put together a coalition, stood beside him.
In case Netanyahu fails to do so during this period, he may request a two-week extension from the President.
Peres reserves the final say on approving such an extension and its length.