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WAR: Sharon Wins Key Vote on Alliance for Gaza Plan

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posted on Dec, 9 2004 @ 11:50 PM
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has won a critical vote that paves the way for his rival Labor party to join his tenuous coalition. Had Sharon been unable to shore up his coalition, it was unlikely that he would have survived a no confidence vote. The proposed withdrawal of settlements from Gaza would have at best been delayed pending new elections.
TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon won a crucial Likud party vote on Thursday that will let him bring opposition Labour into his shattered coalition and power forward a plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip.

Averting a likely snap election, the rightist Likud's Central Committee reversed an earlier decision by voting 62 to 38 percent to allow talks on a unity government.

It was a blow for hardline party rebels, who oppose giving up the Gaza Strip or any land captured in the 1967 war, and tried to prevent an alliance with pro-withdrawal Labour as a way to stop it.

"This is a good opportunity for the prime minister," said Gila Gamliel, a Likud lawmaker.

Western countries, buoyed by new hope of Middle East peace talks after Yasser Arafat's death last month, back the Gaza withdrawal as a step toward a settlement. But Palestinians fear it is a ruse to cement Israel's hold on the West Bank.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Politics make strange bedfellows. Only last August the Likud party rejected any compromise to bring Labor into the coalition. However, with their backs against the wall, they seem to have seen the light. The article points out that there was also a fear of voter backlash if the peace process did not go forth either. At any rate, once Labor enters the coalition, the peace process may have a real chance of going foreword.


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