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      Likud Rises as Leftists Vow No Coalition

      Likud Beytenu regains losses in the polls, but left-wing parties say they will try to thwart a coalition.
      By Maayana Miskin
      First Publish: 1/4/2013, 9:57 AM

      Netanyahu and Lieberman
      Netanyahu and Lieberman
      Israel news photo: Flash 90

      The Likud Beytenu party regained its losses this week, ending with enough support to win 36 Knesset seats, according to a new poll released Friday by Maariv/nrg.

      The Labor party regained losses as well, moving up to a solid second place with 18 seats. Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) remained in third place with 13, and Shas in fourth with 11.

      Likud Beytenu’s uptick in support came as left-wing party heads threatened to make it difficult for the party to create a coalition. Labor head Shelly Yechimovich announced Thursday that she would not join a coalition led by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

      “Under my leadership, the Labor party will either lead the government, or sit in the Opposition – there is no other option,” she said at a press conference.

      Yesh Atid party head Yair Lapid issued a similar proclamation, saying on his Facebook page, “For everyone who asked – of course we won’t sit as a fifth wheel in a government with Shas and the extreme right. Do you think I’m crazy?”

      However, Lapid did not rule out sitting in a “moderate, centrist government,” led by Likud.