Mr Menachem Begin, leader of Israel's right-wing Likud Party, was officially asked on Tuesday (7 June) to form a new Israeli government.
Mr Menachem Begin, leader of Israel's right-wing Likud Party, was officially asked on Tuesday (7 June) to form a new Israeli government. He was given the mandate by President Ephraim Katzir at a meeting in Jerusalem.
After receiving the mandate to form a new administration, Mr Begin said Israel was faced with very grave problems, both internally and externally. It was advisable, he said, that in this crucial period the country should have a government of national unity.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Begin, whose Likud Party defeated the ruling Labour Party in last month's elections, went to Jerusalem's Wailing Wall the same day. The wall is the Jews' most hallowed religious monument, and it's traditional for leaders to pay homage there. After his meeting with the President, Mr Begin immediately renewed his call to the defeated Labour Pary to join him in a national coalition.
He first made the call for a national coalition cabinet on election night, but Labour quickly turned it down, and according to observers, were likely to do so again.