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Israel's Labour backs Netanyahu alliance

Israel's Labour backs Netanyahu alliance
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In Israel, unlikely bedfellows are set to give government a go-together. The centre-left Labour Party has backed its leader Ehud Barak’s decision to join forces with right-wing Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu.

The pair had struck a draft coalition deal and now Barak has convinced his party to climb on board. At an extraordinary congress in Tel Aviv, deeply divided delegates voted on whether to join a Likud-led administration. Their approval means Barak is set to remain as defence minister. But many in Labour prefer opposition to allying themselves with a government whose foreign minister would be Avigdor Lieberman. His ultranationalist Israel is Our Home Party and the Orthodox Jewish Shas Party had already been signed up by Netanyahu. But, while enlisting these partners to govern Israel, he had made it clear he preferred a broad-based coalition.