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Israel's Likud to Leave Sharon Cabinet


Israel's Likud Party chairman Benjamin Netanyahu says his party's remaining Cabinet ministers will resign from Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government on Sunday.

Mr. Netanyahu announced Tuesday morning that Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom and three other Likud ministers will quit the government at the next weekly Cabinet meeting.

Despite Likud's departure, Mr. Sharon's caretaker government is expected to remain in office until elections later this year.

Mr. Netanyahu was elected to lead Likud last month, after Mr. Sharon left the party. The prime minister has faced strong opposition from right-wing Likud members over his decision to withdraw from the Gaza Strip last year.

Shortly before the party leadership election, Mr. Netanyahu had pledged all Likud ministers would leave the Sharon government as quickly as possible.

Mr. Sharon has formed a new party, Kadima, to contest the elections on March 28.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.

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