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Netanyahu gets nod to form new Israeli government

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JERUSALEMBenjamin Netanyahu urged his top rivals on Friday to join his government after he was formally tapped to put together the country’s next coalition – a tricky alliance that would dilute the power of nationalists opposed to Mideast peace talks but team him up with politicians far more moderate than he is.

Mr. Netanyahu opposes sweeping territorial concessions to the Palestinians and wants to expand Jewish West Bank settlements, but embracing centrist factions would give him a more stable government and international support. The alternative would be a narrow coalition of rightwingers sure to collide with the Obama administration and its ambitious plans for ending 60 years of conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

“I call on the members of all the factions ... to set politics aside and put the good of the nation at the center,” Netanyahu said during a brief ceremony at President Shimon Peres’s residence in Jerusalem, where he was officially assigned the coalition-building task.

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