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Members of Israel's ruling party divided amid coalition talks


09:40, January 28, 2013

JERUSALEM, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- Members of the Likud party, which received 31 of the Israeli parliament's 120 seats in recent elections, are divided over whether to welcome the religious Habayit Hayeudi (Jewish Home) party into the coalition.

Habayit Hayeudi, a religious and right-wing party, won 12 seats in the Jan. 22 elections and is a potential partner in the coalition to be erected by incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Following the election results, Netanyahu started conversing with different politicians in order to form a coalition and a new government to rule Israel.

Netanyahu is most likely to choose Yesh Atid, the center party which became the second largest in the elections with 19 seats, into his coalition. Another potential candidate is Habayit Hayeudi, which won 12 seats.

Since there may be a problem for ultra-Orthodox parties willing to join cabinet seats with the pro-secular Yesh Atid party, Habayit Hayeudi members are regarded as valuable players for the upcoming coalition.

The decision of whether to include the party in the coalition has divided Likud members, according to Israeli news outlets.

Naftali Bennet, leader of Habayit Hayeudi, has been successful mainly to do with his charisma, threatening several Likud members who fear he may impair the ruling party from within, the Ynet website cited a top Likud member as saying on Sunday.

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