/

Hard-liners take key posts in Likud

AFP-JIJI

Hard-liners in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud were elected to key positions in the party’s governing institutions early Monday, in a move that could make it difficult to offer concessions in talks with the Palestinians.

Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon, an outspoken opponent of the two-state solution, won the vote for the position of chairman of the party’s Central Committee, a Likud spokeswoman said.

Danon took 2,230 votes against the 442 of his nearest challenger, according to official results published Monday.

Another hard-liner, Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin, takes over the Likud bureau, which outlines party ideology.

Netanyahu remains party leader but his power within Likud has diminished with rebels Danon and Elkin securing their new positions.

“Netanyahu lost the Likud” read a headline in the top-selling Yediot Aharonot daily, citing a senior party official who said that the premier failed to find a candidate who would run for any of the party’s key posts.