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Government Wins Overwhelming Vote of Confidence for Its Prisoner Exchange

May 30, 1985
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The government won an overwhelming vote of confidence in the Knesset today for its controversial prisoner exchange. The Knesset also rejected three opposition motions to establish a commission of inquiry into the Lebanon war.

By a vote of 65-6 with 16 abstentions, the Knesset accepted Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s statement earlier in the week that Israel had no option but to accept the terms of the prisoner exchange in which 1,150 Palestinians serving sentences for terrorist offenses were released on May 20 in return for three Israeli soldiers held captive by a Palestinian terrorist group in Damascus.

The negative votes were cast by the rightwing Tehiya Party and the extremist Kach Party.


The vote against an inquiry into the Lebanon war was 37-15 with 23 abstentions. Likud was vehemently opposed and the Labor MKs, by pre-arrangement, abstained. Premier Shimon Peres made it clear that he felt this was not the time for a probe of the war which could bring down the Labor-Likud unity coalition government.

For that reason, he urged the Labor Party Knesset faction not to support the motions for an inquiry. Inasmuch as Labor would not vote against such a move, it was agreed to abstain.

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