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Netanyahu faces peace deal plea

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's main coalition partner publicly prodded him yesterday to show "historic courage" and reach a peace deal with the Palestinians even at the risk of his government's collapse.

Finance Minister Yair Lapid, in a speech, reassured Netanyahu of his centrist Yesh Atid party's support and spoke of possible changes in the coalition - a nod to any future exit of far-right factions and their replacement by left-wing partners - should a land-for-peace agreement be achieved.

"I'm determined to do everything within my power to ensure that this government stays the course - even if developments in the peace negotiations necessitate a coalition realignment of one kind or another," Mr Lapid said.

But he also appeared to issue a warning to Netanyahu, reiterating that Yesh Atid, would not remain in a government that did not genuinely pursue a negotiated settlement.

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