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June 7, 2004
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The National Religious Party said it would stay in Israel’s government for the time being. NRP ministers and rabbis held overnight consultations ahead of Sunday’s Cabinet vote on Ariel Sharon’s Gaza withdrawal plan, which underwent revisions in recent days. NRP officials said they wanted to wait until a final version of the plan was presented before making their decision. “I do not want to bring down a national coalition government just for the sake of some unbridled passions,” Welfare Minister Zevulun Orlev, an NRP member, told Israel Radio before the vote was held. After Sharon last Friday fired two ministers from the National Union Party who opposed any removal of settlements in Gaza, the NRP’s chief, Effi Eitam, suggested his party should quit the government in protest.

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