Israeli Prime Minister Gives Posts to Labor Party Defectors

PHOTO FILE : Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, Ehud Barak, leave the West Wing after a meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House in Washington Tuesday, March 23, 2010. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(KATAKAMI.COM / VOA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is giving four cabinet posts to former Labor party politicians who resigned from the party Monday under the lead of Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
News reports say Mr. Netanyahu awarded the posts Tuesday, following negotiations with Barak.  Under the agreement, Barak will remain the defense minister.

On Monday, Barak and four other Labor politicians announced their departure from the party.  Barak said he would form a new parliamentary faction called Atzmaut (Independence) that would be part of the governing coalition.

With the split, Labor has eight members who remain in parliament.

Recently, there have been sharp divisions within the Labor Party regarding its role in the government’s failure to advance peace talks with the Palestinians.  (*)

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