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Israel Holding Parliamentary Election


Israelis vote Tuesday in parliamentary elections that will determine the successor to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Israeli politicians scrambled to woo voters on the last day of campaigning Monday, as opinion polls showed a narrowing gap between the two main parties.

They are former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni's ruling centrist Kadima Party. The far-right Yisreil Beiteinu party is third in the race.

Netanyahu has vowed to crush the Palestinian militant group Hamas and wants to concentrate on economic issues. Livni says she supports the creation of a separate Palestinian state in keeping with earlier agreements.

No single party is expected to secure a majority in Parliament, so the winner likely will have to form a coalition government.

Early results are expected late Tuesday.

Security is a major issue in the elections, as Israel and militants in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip observe a fragile truce.

Gaza is under an Israeli blockade and the West Bank will be sealed off during voting.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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