The Jan. 22 elections gave Netanyahu until Saturday night to form a new government but the law allows Peres to grant the prime minister a 2-week extension. That would give Netanyahu until March 16 to form a coalition, The Jerusalem Post said Thursday.
Earlier this month Netanyahu convinced Tzipi Livni, head of the Hatnuah party, to join his coalition, announcing she would serve as justice minister and would also head Israel's negotiating team in peace talks with the Palestinians.
Despite intensive talks with other party heads, Livni is the only one to join the coalition.
Former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, head of the Israel Beitenu party, which merged with Likud in the recent elections, said Wednesday a government will be formed and there will be no new elections, the Post said.