Israeli parliament OKs ''disengagement'' plan
The Israeli parliament (Knesset) on Tuesday night upheld Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's "disengagement" plan by a massive majority of 67-45. Six Arab Israeli MKs abstained in the vote.
Social Affairs Minister Zevulun Orlev from the right wing National Religious Party announced minutes before the vote that his party would quit the government, unless Sharon decides to hold a referendum on the proposed pullout from the Gaza Strip. The NRP has given Sharon 14 days to make a decision on the nationwide poll.
Education Minister Limor Livnat and Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed support in holding the referendum.
Earlier Tuesday, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom urged Knesset members to support the disengagement plan by minimizing its significance, saying a vote for the plan was not a vote for evacuating settlements. (albawaba.com)
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