Israel's Livni Rejects Unity Government

Ad Feedback—JERUSALEM—Kadima party leader Tzipi Livni walked out of unity coalition talks Friday with Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu, saying her party will join the loyal opposition rather than unite with Netanyahu's Likud-led coalition. 

Livni said Netanyahu's refusal to commit to a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians is the deal-breaker. 

The Likud leader has said he can't wait forever to form a government, so Friday's announcement all but assures that Netanyahu will have to build a narrower coalition of 65 Knesset [parliament] members from parties on the right.  A majority of 61 seats in the 120-seat Knesset is needed to govern.

Netanyahu said he offered Livni a full partnership in the government and he committed to continue the peace process even though he doesn't believe Israel has a viable partner in the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority. 

Likud must now make an agreement with Avigdor Lieberman's Yistrael Beiteinu party, which is the third largest party in the Knesset with 15 seats. 

Others parties expected to join the government are Shas, United Torah Judaism and two national religious parties.

Sources: ynet news, Ha'aretz

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