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      Livni Hints Labor should Replace Bayit Yehudi

      Justice Minister says the present makeup of the coalition makes "peace talks" more difficult.
      By Gil Ronen
      First Publish: 8/20/2013, 9:41 AM

      Minister Tzipi Livni
      Minister Tzipi Livni
      Israel news photo: Flash 90

      Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (Hatnua), who is in charge of negotiations with the Palestinian Authority (PA), hinted broadly Tuesday that she would like to see the Labor party in the government in place of Bayit Yehudi.

      Livni told Voice of Israel public radio that there will be more support for the peace process in the government if Labor replaces Bayit Yehudi in the Coalition.

      The Bayit Yehudi party opposes the two-state idea, she said, and this is "a very problematic thing, in the context of negotiations."

      In order to make decisions in the course of the negotiations, there needs to be political support for the process, she explained.

      Labor head MK Shelly Yachimovich has said that if the "peace process" depends on it, she will provide a "safety net" for the Netanyahu's government. This could entail joining the Coalition, or just preventing it from being voted out of power by supporting it from the Knesset benches in no-confidence votes.

      Labor has 15 MKs, more than enough to replace Bayit Yehudi and turn the governing coalition into a much more leftist one. However, such a move could cause Likud and Yisrael Beytenu to split and fracture.

      Livni said that a date has been set for the next round of talks with the PA but refused to say where and when it would be held.