Rise of Israeli centrist raises hopes for peace
JERUSALEM – The unexpectedly strong showing by a new centrist party in Israel's parliamentary election has raised hopes of a revival of peace talks with Palestinians that have languished for four years under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Political newcomer Yair Lapid, the surprise kingmaker, is already being courted by a weakened Netanyahu, who needs his support to form a ruling coalition. Lapid has said he will not sit in the government unless the peace process is restarted.
But following a campaign in which the Palestinian issue was largely ignored, it remains unclear how hard Lapid will push the issue in what could be weeks of coalition talks with Netanyahu.
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