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Israeli leaders in last-minute campagining

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 02:00

Israeli candidates are in the last hours of campaigning for an election in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu trails in the polls and the center-left may be posed to create a coalition government. Mana Rabiee reports.

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In Jerusalem, candidates are in the last hours of campaigning. Israel chooses its next Prime Minister Tuesday - as well as lawmakers from a range of political parties. Far-right leader Naftali Bennet is looking to boost the influence of his pro-settler party -- by appealing to younger, more secular Israelis. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER ISRAELI ECONOMY MINISTER AND LEADER OF 'JEWISH HOME' PARTY, NAFTALI BENNETT, SAYING: "We want a strong Israel, we believe in Israel, we believe in the land of Israel and we don't apologize for it. (Q: What are your expectations from the election?) We expect a good, strong, Jewish national government, we believe in it. And I'm gonna check out the salami." The main challenger to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is Isaac Herzog. His center-left alliance is posed to take up to 26 seats in the Knesset, compared to maybe 22 seats expected for Netanyahu's Likud party. Netanyahu -- trailing in the polls -- used the the hilltop of a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank as his final campaign backdrop. 'Come home to Likud' he told his disaffected right-wing voters. Herzog and his running mate, he said, won't fight for Israeli settlements like I have. (SOUNDBITE) (Hebrew) ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU SAYING: "They will give in. The huge support coming from abroad, from tycoons, from the Left, governments, it's only because of one reason - because they know that Tzipi and Bougie will, if they are prime ministers in Israel, will surrender on every front." Netanyahu later said in a TV interview he won't allow the creation of a Palestinian -- not under his watch if he's re-elected. No single party has ever won an outright majority in the Knesset -- making coalition governments the norm. One election analyst says …. just 3-5 percent of the vote could move from one block to another … to make a dramatic change in the future of the government of Israel.

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Israeli leaders in last-minute campagining

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 02:00