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Xinhua News Agency/REX
World News

Arab parties could enter Israeli government

by Antony Bushfield

The country is going to the polls for the second time in two years after a snap election was called by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

His party, Likud, is trailing in the polls to the centre-left coalition Zionist Union led by former Israel foreign minister Tzipi Livni.

Elections to Israel's Knesset are run using a proportional representation system so a winner will not be immediately known and coalition governments are almost inevitable.

Chief Executive of Christian Friends of Israel Jacob Vince told Premier it could be possible the Zionist Union would enter a deal with the Arab parties.

"Possibly the third largest party would be a coalition of the Arab parties and if that were the case I'd be surprised, they've never been in government before, but it's just possible that Labour or the more left might be prepared to bring them into government."

Mr Vince said all parties standing for election were hoping for a lasting peace with Palestine: "The question is who can actually reach agreement, if there is an agreement to be reached, with the Palestinians and the Arab League.

"And traditionally it's been the hawkish parties that have reached more agreement."

The final government might not be known for some time.

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