Israeli politicians are approaching a make-or-break point in their attempts to form a new government. Thursday is the deadline that President Chaim Herzog has given Labor Party leader Shimon Peres to find the 61 votes he needs to build a majority in the Knesset, Israel's Parliament.
The preceding week was marked by a frenzied round of deal-making and -breaking, death threats and a tear-gas grenade attack on a religious party's meeting site.
If Peres succeeds, Israel is expected to move toward talks with Palestinians. If not, Herzog may allow caretaker Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir another shot at forming a government--and the deal-making will begin anew.