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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held on to his job Wednesday, announcing that he had hammered together a new coalition government just ahead of a midnight legal deadline. "I am leaving here to call the president and the speaker of the parliament to inform them that I have been able to build a government," he said in remarks at the Knesset after marathon talks with Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett. "I am honoured to inform you that I have been successful in forming a government, which I will request is brought before the Knesset for its approval as soon as possible," Rivlin's office quoted the note as saying. The news came just over an hour ahead of a legal deadline at midnight (2100 GMT) after which the task of forming a government would have been given to another party leader -- most likely Isaac Herzog, head of the centre-left Zionist Union, which won 24 seats in the March 17 election, behind 30 for Netanyahu's rightwing Likud.