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Israel fast-tracking peace referendum

23 July 2013, 08:49

Jerusalem - Israel's prime minister says he is fast-tracking legislation that will allow him to put any future peace deal with the Palestinians to a referendum in Israel.

Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that a referendum is needed to prevent a rift in Israeli society.

Polls suggest a majority of Israelis support the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, but many are vehemently opposed.

Some issues are particularly explosive, including a possible partition of Jerusalem.

Netanyahu says he'll present a referendum bill soon to his Cabinet and then to parliament.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in comments published Monday he also plans a referendum on any possible peace deal, reiterating a long-standing position.

- AP


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