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Netanyahu Strengthened by Party Test as His Opponents Unite

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emerged strengthened from a test of power in his Likud party as rival factions teamed up in a bid to defeat him in March 17 elections.

Two-thirds of Likud’s caucus approved Netanyahu’s proposal to move up the party’s leadership race to Dec. 31 and let him handpick some candidates for the election ticket, according to Likud spokeswoman Noga Katz. Analysts have said the vote was a referendum on his leadership of the party.