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DEADLOCK Israel Coalition Talks to Begin Leader of Yesh Atid speaks on Wednesday. (Sebastian Scheiner/AP)

Israel Coalition Talks to Begin

Well, this is unexpected. Early results on Tuesday from Israel’s election showed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing party lost a quarter of its seats in government, and he will be forced to form a coalition government with the newly formed Yesh Atid party. Netanyahu’s Likud-Beiteinu alliance still maintained the largest majority, with 31 seats, but Yesh Atid won a shocking 19 seats. Yesh Atid is led by popular former TV presenter Yair Lapid, and has demanded reform of the law that excuses ultra-Orthodox Jewish seminary students from serving in the military. Lapid’s victory could also cause other headaches for Netanyahu, as Lapid has insisted he will only join a government committed to reviving the peace process with Palestine.

January 23, 2013 6:49 AM