Netanyahu moves to strengthen party

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JERUSALEM -- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's governing Likud Party is voting to choose a list of candidates to contest upcoming parliamentary elections -- in balloting that could strengthen the party's pro-settler faction.

If the hawkish pro-settler candidates polled well Sunday, then Likud could find itself taking stronger pro-settler positions than it has in the past.

More than 120,000 Likud voters are eligible to take part in the party vote.

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Likud has teamed up for the Jan. 22 general election with the Israel Beiteinu Party of ultranationalist Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, himself a settler. Its list of candidates will be chosen later.

-- AP

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