Netanyahu Chosen to Form New Israeli Gov't

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CBNNews.com - Israel's President Shimon Peres has chosen former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to assemble Israel's next government.

Netanyahu will now have six weeks to build the strongest possible coalition. He says that because of the dangers facing Israel, he wants a broad unity government of the large political parties.

But Kadima party leader Tzipi Livni says she won't serve in a government that is not committed to a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians.

Netanyahu now has the backing of 65 Knesset members. He needs a minimum of 61 to have a majority in the 120-member Knesset.

"In light of the scope of the challenges Israel faces - Iran, terrorism, the economic crisis and unemployment - a broad unity government is a must," Netanyahu said on Thursday evening.

Likud issued a statement responding to Livni's announcement Thursday that she would not join an "extremist right-wing coalition."

"Immediately after President Peres tasks Likud chairman Netanyahu with forming the government, he will call on Kadima chairwoman Livni and Labor chairman Barak to join a broad unity government under his leadership," the statement read.

Following the president's consultations with faction heads of all the parties, Netanyahu secured 65 endorsements to Livni's 28. Labor, Meretz and the three Arab parties refrained from endorsing either of Livni or Netanyahu.

Sources: CBN News, YNet news

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