Israeli Prime Minister, Menachem Begin, told his Government coalition in Jerusalem on August 30 that he would definitely resign but would give the ruling Likud Party time to forge a new coalition.
JERUSALEM: AUGUST 30 (VISNEWS)
1. GV & SV Begin leaving his home. (2 SHOTS) 0.34
2. SV Begin arriving at Knesset. 0.47
3. SV Member of parliament, Interior Minister Yosef Burg arriving followed by Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir. (2 SHOTS) 0.55
4. GV U.S. Special Envoy Robert McFarlane arriving. 1.02
5. CU Begin seated. 1.14
6. SCU Religious Party spokesman, Rabbi Lorincz speaking. (English SOT) 1.36
GENEVA: AUGUST 30 (SRG)
7. GV INT Palestine conference and PLO Foreign Affairs spokesman Farouk Kaddoumi taking seat to applause. 2.02
8. CU Kaddoumi speaking. (English SOT) 2.22
9. CU Former director of PLO political office in Beirut Shaifiq al-Hout speaking. (English SOT) 3.16
TRANSCRIPT: RABBI LORINCZ: (SEQ 6) "He'll resign, there's no question. The only question is when he will go to the President. We ask him altogether not to do it and to give a few days for the parties for the coalition to organise alternative coalition."
KADDOUMI: (SEQ 8) "...committed the crimes of war so he is a criminal of war and he should resign. But this does not leave or change anything in the Israeli policy, the aggressiveness and expansionist policy in regards to the Arabs."
AL-HOUT: (SEQ 9) "Menachem Begin today is the latest, but by no means the last casualty of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. The resignation is the result of a failed political and military adventure. Other such failures will follow. But innocent Palestinians and Lebanese civilians paid a very high price. Nevertheless it was Palestinians and Lebanese resistance that brought him down in the end. And of course, we must also note that the conscience of many outspoken Israelis who directed their anger and refusal to serve at the Likud Government, that also played an important role in Begin's fall."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: JERUSALEM/GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
Israeli Prime Minister, Menachem Begin, told his Government coalition in Jerusalem on August 30 that he would definitely resign but would give the ruling Likud Party time to forge a new coalition. When he arrived at the Knesset (parliament) the Prime Minister faced emotional pleas from colleagues to stay in office. He rejected them, saying his decision was final. He said he felt he could not "carry on" and should "lay down the burden of leading the nation". Mr. Begin, however, did submit to pleas from his ministers to give them time to form a new coalition. He said he would announce the date of his resignation on August 31. A coalition of right-wing Likud and Religious Parties has ruled Israel since 1977 with a narrow majority in Israel's 120-seat Parliament. Before meeting his colleagues Mr. Begin conferred with the United States Special Envoy to the Middle East, Robert McFarlane. It's understood that Mr. Begin decided to delay by a few days an announcement on when the Israeli redeployment to the Awali River in Southern Lebanon would begin. The decision on the Israeli troop withdrawal has been taken since the latest eruption of violence round Beirut. In Switzerland Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) leaders were sceptical, if not cynical, about Mr. Begin's resignation. PLO Foreign Affairs spokesman, Farouk Kaddoumi described the Israeli Prime Minister as a "criminal of war". He said Mr. Begin's absence for the Parliament would not change Israel's aggressive and expansionist policy towards the Arabs. Mr. Kaddoumi and other PLO members in Geneva attending a United Nations-sponsored conference on Palestine. He urged the international community to take sanctions against Israel. The former director of the PLO's political office in Beirut, Shaifiq al-Hout, said Mr. Begin was the latest, but by no means the last, casualty of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. He said his resignation was the result of a "failed political and military adventure".
Source: REUTERS JERUSALEM/SRG