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Israeli Election Race Tightens after Ruling Party Primary

Israel's election race is tightening, following primaries in the ruling party.

Israel's ruling Kadima Party has elected its list of candidates for parliament in upcoming elections on February 10. The announcement of the list showed that moderates won key spots.

Dovish Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, who is currently chief negotiator with the Palestinians, is number one on the list and candidate for prime minister. She is followed by many of her loyalists.

Livni said the party chose candidates "who can govern Israel and restore it."

"Kadima has a list that will win" the elections, Livni told party supporters. She said the list represents the center of the political spectrum in Israel.

After the primary, a poll found that Livni's Kadima party is closing the gap on the hawkish right-wing Likud party led by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The poll shows Kadima would win 25 seats in the 120-member Knesset or parliament compared to 29 seats for Netanyahu's Likud. Kadima gained about six seats on Likud compared to previous polls.

The elections are a classic confrontation between hawk and dove, so they will have a big impact on the peace process. Livni supports the creation of a Palestinian state but Netanyahu does not. Netanyahu says he will continue peace talks based on economic incentives, but warns that a Palestinian state would threaten the security of Israel.