Israel PM names point man for talks with Palestinians

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JERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli official says Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has appointed a seasoned politician from his hawkish Likud party to serve as the point man for peace talks with the Palestinians.

The official said Silvan Shalom, who over a long career served as foreign minister and in other senior positions, was appointed Sunday. Netanyahu would remain the ultimate decision-maker on negotiations if they resume. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the press on the announcement.

Shalom was recently named interior minister in Netanyahu's new government, sworn in last week. The coalition is dominated by nationalist and religious parties, setting it on a collision course with the international community.

The most recent round of U.S-mediated peace talks with the Palestinians collapsed last year.

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