Netanyahu reaches out to Palestinians

Incoming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday his government will be a "partner for peace" with the Palestinians. Speaking to an economic forum, Netanyahu said, “Palestinians should understand that they have in our government a partner for peace, for security and for rapid economic development of (the) Palestinian economy; I believe that this could be done.” This comes a day after the central committee of the left of center Labor Party voted to join a coalition government headed by Netanyahu, the leader of the right of center Likud party. Under the agreement, Labor leader Ehud Barak would remain Israeli defense minister, and Netanyahu would achieve his goal of broadening a coalition made up mainly of right-wing parties.