Israel’s Shas Party Wants Tougher Line from Barak to Stay in Coalition

Published July 7th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

The leadership of Israel's Shas party threatened Friday to pull out of the coalition government unless Prime Minister Ehud Barak lays down tougher non-negotiable positions, or "red lines", before next week's summit with the Palestinians. 

The Council of Torah Sages said Barak must spell out red lines "acceptable to Shas" before leaving for the Camp David summit scheduled to begin Tuesday, council secretary Raphael Pinhasi told journalists. 

"If the prime minister does not come up with these red lines we can no longer assume the responsibility for a program liable to cause irreversible damage, in which case the Council of Torah Sages will re-examine its position in the government and the coalition". 

Pinhasi was reading a statement issued after a meeting of the governing body of the powerful ultra-Orthodox party, the second largest in Barak's coalition with 17 seats in parliament. 

Barak spelled out five "red lines" Thursday, prompting an immediate allegation from the Palestinians that he was out to sabotage the summit – OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (AFP) 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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