Sharon's new government sworn in

Jan. 10, 2005 at 11:26 PM

JERUSALEM, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's new government was sworn in Monday after the Knesset approved a plenum vote of 58 to 56, with six abstentions.

The coalition includes eight new Labor Party ministers: Vice Premier Shimon Peres; Isaac Herzog (Housing and Construction); Ophir Pines-Paz (Justice), Benjamin Ben-Eliezer (National Infrastructure), Dalia Itzik (Communication), Shalom Simhom (Environment) as well as ministors Matan Vilnai and Haim Ramon.

Earlier Monday, Sharon stated that anyone who voted against the new government would be responsible for causing a "disaster," reported the Ha'aretz news agency.

Monday's vote put the fate of the Likud-Labor-United Torah Judaism government in question, despite a prediction by Sharon staff that the new coalition was almost guaranteed a majority in the Knesset vote, the agency said.

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