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Netanyahu Faces Challenge From Settler Leader in Likud Primary

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced a lone challenge from the leader of a West Bank settler faction in a primary election for the ruling Likud party leadership.

Netanyahu, 62, is seeking re-election today as chairman of the party, which would put him in position to run for a third term as prime minister. Moshe Feiglin, 49, head of Likud’s “Jewish Leadership” faction, lost to Netanyahu by a margin of almost 50 percentage points in the 2007 primary.

About 125,000 Likud members were eligible to vote at 154 balloting sites across the country, which opened at 10 a.m. and were scheduled to close at 10 p.m., according to the party’s website.

Feiglin conceded that his chances of beating Netanyahu were slim in an interview with Israel Radio after voting near his home at the Karnei Shomron settlement. “Every extra point I get today beyond what I got before is an advance” for the settler movement, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Ferziger in Tel Aviv at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at

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