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Deal puts Livni a step closer to top job
the likud party chairman and opposition leader, benjamin netanyahu, who preceded mr barak as prime minister from 1996 to 1999, publicly urged shas not to join a join a coalition led by ms livni because she would give up jerusalem .
the two sides must still agree on which ministerial portfolios will go to labor, which holds 19 seats in the 120-member knesset, compared with kadima's 29 .
the new leader of israel's governing kadima party, tzipi livni, is closer to becoming the country's second woman prime minister after securing the written agreement of the labor party leader, ehud barak, to form a coalition .
israeli medima reported yesterday that while it was uncertain if shas would agree to join the coalition, most observers agreed it was in the party's interest to sign a new agreement because it was lagging in the opinion polls .