JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday faced the first serious internal challenge to his decade-long rule as his party held a primary vote following his failure to form a government and his indictment on corruption charges.
Veteran Likud party member Gideon Saar hoped to unseat Netanyahu, telling voters he would be better placed to form a government after national elections in March.
Despite the indictment, Netanyahu remains popular among Likud members, and the fiercely loyal party — which has only had four leaders since its inception in the 1970s — stood firmly behind the long-serving leader. He was expected to defeat Saar, and a win could strengthen his hand going into the next national vote.
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