The Israeli Prime Minister, Mr. Yitzhak Rabin, has resigned after expelling one party from his?
The Israeli Prime Minister, Mr. Yitzhak Rabin, has resigned after expelling one party from his coalition government.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Rabin precipitated the political crisis on Sunday (29 December), when he dismissed the 10-member National Religious Party (NRP) from his coalition after it defected in a vote of no confidence last week. This lost his government its small majority in the parliament.
French elections will now be held some time between April and June next year. Mr. Rabin a former Israeli army chief of staff, became Prime Minister after Mrs. Golda Meir resigned in 1974 in the wake of the 1973 Middle East war. His rule has been racked by internal disputes within the ranks of the broad-based coalition and by bitter quarrels with Defence Minister, Mr. Simon Peres, his main opponent after Mrs. Meir's departure.
Israel had been due to have elections in November, but Mr. Rabin's Labour Alignment, the dominant coalition member voted to bring them forward.
Mr. Rabin's resignation was announced early Tuesday morning (21 December) by Israeli President Ephraim Katzir, but he will continue at the head of a caretaker government until the elections. President Katzir also announced the dissolution of the 120-member parliament shortly after a 40-minute meeting with Mr. Rabin. Mr. Rabin said afterwards there would be no changes in Israeli foreign policy. Commenting on newspaper reports of a possible softening in Israeli negotiating positions on the Middle East Mr. Rabin said there was absolutely no truth in them.