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Israeli government facing fracture over peace talks

Israel's coalition government, led by Binyamin Netanyahu, appears to be in danger of fracturing over the gridlocked peace process.

As Israel announced the building of 238 more housing units in annexed east Jerusalem -- further complicating US efforts to revive stalled peace negotiations -- it emerged that Ehud Barak, the Labour leader, was predicting that the government would collapse.

The party's social affairs minister, Isaac Herzog, has also been threatening to quit unless direct talks with the Palestinians are reopened by the end of this month.

The stability of Mr Netanyahu's government is being threatened on two fronts. Its right opposes any extension to the building moratorium and Labour may pull out unless there is progress in the peace talks -- which is unlikely if the moratorium is broken.

Some analysts believe that Mr Netanyahu may be preparing to reach out to the main opposition party, Kadima.

© Observer

Sunday Independent