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Deny Reports Dayan to Resign Following Premier’s Criticisms

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Government circles rejected today widely circulated reports that Gen. Moshe Dayan would resign as Minister of Defense following criticism by Prime Minister Levi Eshkol in a newspaper interview published last Friday.

Mr. Eshkol was quoted as saying that the premiership and the defense portfolio should be held by the same person as, but for a brief time it always was prior to Gen. Dayan’s assumption of the post last May. Mr. Eshkol was also critical of the fulsome credit being given Gen. Dayan for the conduct of the six-day war, arguing that Gen. Dayan’s role in the war was mainly limited to boosting morale and that major credit should go to Gen. Itzhak Rabin, the chief of staff.

Government and Mapai Party circles said today that as long as the present critical situation continued and national unity was so urgent, the government of national union formed by the broadening of the coalition last May, would be continued. Representatives of Mr. Eshkol’s Mapai Party and Gen. Dayan’s Rafi Party were scheduled to meet today to try to iron out the difficulties which have delayed conclusion of the agreement to merge the two labor parties.

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