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Likud Licks Sharon

MAY 14, 2002. The day after tens of thousands of Israelis took to the streets of Tel Aviv to demand an immediate withdrawal of the Israel army and settlers from Palestinian territories, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Likud Party resolved on Sunday never, ever to allow the creation of a Palestinian state.

At the poorly attended Central Committee's convention, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Sharon of "undermining national security," while Sharon made fun of him for fighting terror "by giving speeches and writing books." The crowd heckled both before defying Sharon, who didn't want a vote on the measure.

While not particularly in favor of a Palestinian state, the Prime Minister wanted to keep all his options open as the U.S. brings increasing pressure to bear, and Arab states consider plans to end the current violence.

At the Peace Now rally, attended by between 60,000 and 100,000 people, there were hints that Sharon may not be able to hold his government together until the end of his term, as parliamentary speaker, Avraham Burg, renewed calls for his Labour Party to withdraw from Sharon's hardline coalition.

Related Links

For a bonanza of Middle East and Israeli links from The Jerusalem Post.

For Amnesty International's report on Israel and the Occupied Territories: State Assassinations and Other Unlawful Killings.

For Complete Coverage Middle East

For Complete Coverage Asia

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