Israel's Labor agress to coalition talks

Dec. 11, 2004 at 3:37 PM

TEL AVIV, Israel, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- The Israeli Labor Party's Leadership Bureau Saturday overwhelmingly approved negotiations to join Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government.

Sharon, who now has the backing of only his Likud Party's 40 Knesset members in the 120-seat parliament, Friday invited Labor and the religious Shas and Torah Judaism parties to join his government.

Labor's Leadership Bureau met in Tel Aviv on Saturday night. Peres said there they would join the government to advance the plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and most of the northern West Bank and "if there will be no disengagement, Labor will leave the government," the Haaretz newspaper reported.

Sharon is expected to meet Shas' leader Eli Yishai Sunday, Haaretz added.

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