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Israeli FM says Arab citizens should be paid to relocate to future Palestinian state

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JERUSALEM — Israel's hard-line foreign minister says he supports paying Arab citizens to leave the country.

In a manifesto of his Yisrael Beitenu party published Friday, Avigdor Lieberman says he favors ceding Arab majority areas in northern Israel to a future Palestinian state and providing economic incentives for Arab-Israelis — about 20 percent of Israel's population — to encourage them to emigrate.

The manifesto does not set out positions on the most difficult issues in the Israel-Palestinian conflict, including the status of Jerusalem and Israel's borders.

But it does acknowledge the necessity of territorial compromise in reaching a peace deal with the Palestinians, and also with moderate Arab countries.

Once a close associate of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Lieberman is now seen as harboring prime ministerial ambitions himself.

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