HAARETZ 1. Knesset majority for disengagement. KNESSET APPROVES DISENGAGEMENT BY LARGE MAJORITY; NETANYAHU THREATENING TO QUIT. 67 MKs in favor, 45 opposed; Netanyahu, Livnat, Naveh, Katz and NRP threatening to quit within 14 days if there is no decision on referendum; Landau voted against – and was fired from Cabinet; Sharon: I will not capitulate to pressure and threats. 2. AT 20:30 IN NEVEH DEKALIM, THEY UNDERSTOOD – ITS OVER. 3. FORMER SENIOR ISA OFFICIAL: POLITICAL MURDER – UNAVOIDABLE. HATZOFEH 1. Netanyahu and Livnat join with NRP in attempt to force Sharon to hold referendum. ULTIMATUM TO SHARON. Likud ministers kept Sharon in suspense until last minute but, in the end, they voted in favor of uprooting plan. After Knesset approval of plan, Netanyahu and Livnat convened press conference in which they declared that should PM not approve referendum, they would resign within two weeks. Minister Uzi Landau and Deputy Minister Michael Ratzon, who voted against plan, were fired. Tens of thousands demonstrated opposite Knesset to protest plan.
2. NINTH ANNIVERSARY OF RABINS MURDER TO BE MARKED TODAY. MAARIV 1. 67 in favor; 45 opposed. Sharon to Maariv: I will not give in. MAJORITY DECIDES: LEAVING GAZA. The history: By large majority, Israeli Knesset decided to disengage from Gaza Strip. The capitulation: Ministers Netanyahu, Livnat, Naveh and Katz were absent during first round of voting but came in and supported disengagement at last minute. The ultimatum: Senior Likud ministers demanding that Sharon agree to referendum – or they will resign. The contacts: Sharon interested in bringing Labor Party into government as soon as possible. 2. NINE YEARS WITHOUT YITZHAK RABIN. Today: Israel to honor memory of murdered Prime Minister. But on day of remembrance, incitement against Sharon reaches new peak. YEDIOT AHRONOT 1. Sharon to Yediot Ahronot: I will not capitulate, there will be no referendum. VICTORY Heavy pressure on Sharon until last minute. Entire country watched him sit quietly even as results were still unclear, but Sharon didnt blink. He evaded meeting with Netanyahu and Livnat – and achieved large majority for historic move. AND REVOLT. Political earthquake: Netanyahu, Livnat, Naveh, Katz and NRP present ultimatum: We will quit unless a referendum is agreed upon within two weeks. Labor considering: We will join Government without portfolios. Uzi Landau fired minutes after vote. MK Aflalo arrived in wheelchair. No MK agreed to be absent along with ailing Yehudit Naot. Arabs forced to abstain. 2. NINE YEARS WITHOUT HIM: TODAY – MEMORIAL CEREMONIES FOR YITZHAK RABIN. ______________________________ SUMMARY OF EDITORIALS FROM THE HEBREW PRESS Both papers comment on various issues related to last nights Knesset vote on Prime Minister Sharons Disengagement Plan: Yediot Ahronot believes that, The die has been cast. The editors believe that the conduct of several MKs yesterday added no honor to Israeli politics and suggest, One way or the other, the Disengagement Plan is on its way and all of us must depend on Divine mercy – if these are the people who will lead us in the near future. Yediot Ahronot, in its second editorial, says that, While its too late to eulogize the Likud, everyone knows that this movement has apparently, finished its life. It is currently in the intensive care ward and a team of doctors – from Bibi Netanyahu to Zevulon Orlev – is trying to resuscitate it, but another jolt of electricity, another attempt at CPR, and the line on the monitor will go flat. The editors note the irony that one of those who helped form the present Likud, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, is, also the one who shortened its days. The funeral will depart from Shikmim Farm. The paper suggests that the Likud will split, with, The original Likud movement becoming part of the – extreme? – right and the other wing positioning itself in the center along with Labor and Shinui. Common sense says that all of these should unite – and apparently win a large majority – but the leaders egos, egos, egos will kill any possibility of this. Hatzofeh was not surprised that United Torah Judaisms rabbinical leaders instructed the partys five MKs to vote against the Disengagement Plan in the end. The editors assert that, The State of Israel has been fated to fight for its life at every stage of its rebirth, with Gaza and without Gaza, and adds, Gush Katif is as legitimate as Ramat Aviv and the Katamon neighborhoods, and neither a people nor a state can be built on despair. __________ Yediot Ahronot, in its third editorial, hails Attorney General Meni Mazuz for ordering an end to the practice in which politicians in office distribute jobs and perks to their political backers and cronies. The editors declare that, The journey is still long and there is much work to do but Mazuzs decision is a step in the right direction. BPI-info