JERUSALEM (Feb. 1)
Acting Prime Minister Levi Eshkol announced the Government’s resignation in the Knesset today. The brief formal statement was followed by a demand for a debate on the resignation. This request was shelved when Mr. Eshkol objected on behalf of the caretaker Government.
The opposition parties, spearheaded by the General Zionists and Herut, indicated plans to force debate next week by collecting the required number of signatures from Knesset members.
Israeli newspapers, speculating on next steps in the situation created by David Ben-Gurion’s resignation as Prime Minister, indicated today that he might again seek to form a coalition, but possibly one without two of his erstwhile partners, the left-wing Achdut Avodah and the left-wing Mapam. The two coalition partners were his severest critics in his feud with Pinhas Lavon, the Histadrut Secretary-General.
Such reports had the effect of an air of preparations for coalition bargaining. It was indicated, however, that a new bid by Ben-Gurion to form a government depended on resolution of several problems dramatized by his resignation yesterday.
Among these were listed the fulfillment of two of Ben-Gurion’s original demands: 1.A judicial inquiry to determine who gave the order in 1954 which led to the security disaster and the forced resignation in 1955 of Lavon as Defense Minister; and 2. The dismissal of Lavon from his Histadrut post.