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Originally published Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 5:00 AM

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Israeli PM says he'd want referendum on peace deal

Israel's prime minister says that if he reaches a peace deal with the Palestinians, he would hold a national referendum on any agreement.

The Associated Press

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JERUSALEM —

Israel's prime minister says that if he reaches a peace deal with the Palestinians, he would hold a national referendum on any agreement.

Negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians have been frozen for more than four years, but the referendum issue has been debated in Israel recently.

Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday he "would be interested" in a national vote if a deal is reached.

The issue is contentious. Opponents say a deal should be decided by elected legislators while supporters say a referendum would provide popular legitimacy.

Israel passed a law in 2010 that would require a two-thirds parliamentary majority or, failing that, a referendum on ceding the Golan Heights or east Jerusalem, which the Palestinians claim as the capital of their hoped-for state. Both areas were captured in 1967.

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