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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Knesset approves Bibi's government

Tue, 31 Mar 2009 21:00:07 GMT | PressTV

Benjamin Netanyahu has been officially sworn in as Israel's new Premier and the Israeli parliament has approved his coalition government.

The 120-seat Israeli Knesset (Parliament) approved Netanyahu's coalition by a 69-45 vote.

The coalition, leaning heavily to the right despite the presence of centre-left Labour, will include Netanyahu's Likud party, ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beitenu, ultra-Orthodox Shas, and a small settler party.

The international community has expressed alarm over the future of the already uncertain Israeli-Palestinian peace process with Netanyahu in office.

The prime minister suggested shifting the focus of stalled peace negotiations with the Palestinians away from the regional issues. He has declined to declare support for a two state solution; saying that any Palestinian entity must have limited powers of sovereignty and no military.

The European Union had called on the prime minister earlier this week that EU ties with his country would strain if he did not accept Palestinian calls for statehood.

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