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updated: 7/22/2013 11:14 AM

Israel premier fast-tracking peace referendum bill

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  • Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, speaks during the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sunday, July 21, 2013. Netanyahu says he is fast-tracking legislation that will allow him to put any future peace deal with the Palestinians to a referendum in Israel.

      Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, speaks during the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sunday, July 21, 2013. Netanyahu says he is fast-tracking legislation that will allow him to put any future peace deal with the Palestinians to a referendum in Israel.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

JERUSALEM -- Israel's prime minister says he is fast-tracking legislation that will allow him to put any future peace deal with the Palestinians to a referendum in Israel.

Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that a referendum is needed to prevent a rift in Israeli society. Polls suggest a majority of Israelis support the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, but many are vehemently opposed. Some issues are particularly explosive, including a possible partition of Jerusalem.

Netanyahu says he'll present a referendum bill soon to his Cabinet and then to parliament.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in comments published Monday he also plans to hold a referendum on any possible peace deal, reiterating a long-standing position.

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