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Netanyahu moves to strengthen party

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.

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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