Israel's Netanyahu gives up effort to form new government

JERUSALEM, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday he was giving up his effort to form a new government after failing to form a coalition following an inconclusive parliamentary election.

Netanyahu, who heads the right-wing Likud party, said he was returning the mandate back to Israel's president, Reuven Rivlin.

Rivlin said he will now hold consultations with the various political parties to tell them he intends to task Netanyahu's centrist rival Benny Gantz with the job of putting together a new government. (Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch, Editing by Franklin Paul)