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Israel offers settlers incentives

PM Benjamin Netanyahu offers to have another look at settlements previously deemed illegal as he is challenged again from the settler right in Likud party leadership elections.

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Dozens of Israeli settlers demonstrate in front of the Knesset (Israeli parliament) in Jerusalem on November 7, 2011 against their government's decision to dismantle some of the West Bank settlements. Settlers are protesting and calling for a struggle against the Israeli government's decision to dismantle several settlements by the end of December 2011. (Menaham Kehana/AFP/Getty Images)

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Israel is expanding incentives to settlers living in the West Bank, the Associated Press reported.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is providing financial incentives as well as offering a promise to form a committee that will reassess the legality of illegal settlements.

Israel is expected to have elections in November 2013 and Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition needs the support of settler-aligned parties to maintain power. The move appears to be a gesture to those groups, the AP reported. 

While Netanyahu’s run for Likud leadership is being challeneged again by Moshe Feiglin, from the settler wing of the party, the Prime Minster is expected to win easily.

But Netanyahu is not popular among the hardline settler contingent in Likud. AFP reports:

"Reports in the Israeli media have suggested Netanyahu is genuinely concerned about the ability of Feiglin to turn out voters, fearing complacency among supporters of the premier could give Feiglin an outsize showing."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/israel-and-palestine/120131/israel-offers-settlers-incentives