Netanyahu opens party negotiations for new coalition cabinet

President Shimon Peres Saturday night assigned outgoing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu the task of forming a new coalition government on the recommendation of 82 out of the 120 new Knesset members elected last month. The first round of talks Sunday will take place with Yesh Atid (Yair Lapid), Bayit Yehudi (Naftali Bennett) and the ultra-religious Shas. In undertaking the commission, Netanyahu said he aims for a broad-based coalition representing maximum national unity to face up to two overriding challenges:  preventing a nuclear Iran and thwarting the build-up of dangerous weapons around Israel’s borders. He again invited Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to sit down for peace talks.

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