Netanyahu was tasked earlier this week with forming a government but has a steep hill to climb

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was set to meet Yamina party leader Naftali Bennett Thursday evening as the embattled Israeli leaders look to form the country's next government. 

Bennett is set to arrive at the prime minister’s official residence on Jerusalem’s Balfour Street at 8:30, according to Hebrew media reports.

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Earlier this week, Israel's President Reuven Rivlin handed Netanyahu the mandate to form a government after receiving 52 recommendations from fellow lawmakers following the March 23 election. 

The premier, however, is facing an uphill battle to reach a 61 seat majority in the Knesset (Israel Parliament), and will need the help of the Yamina party, which recommended Bennett for the position. 

If Netanyahu is unable to form a new government, the mandate will either be handed to the Yesh Atid party, which received the second most recommendations at 45, or back to the Knesset where lawmakers will have an opportunity to choose a consensus candidate. 

If no political party can form a government before the process is complete, Israel will head to a fifth round of elections in just over two years. 

Bennett has stated publicly that he is willing to work with Netanyahu, but the Yamina party's 7 seats still leaves the prime minister 2 mandates short of a majority.