TEL AVIV, ISRAEL
The leader of Israel's opposition Labour Party, Mr.
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL (SEPTEMBER 25, 1982) (REUTERS)
GV Shimon Peres speaking to reporter at end of rally. (English SOT)
TRANSCRIPT: PERES: (SEQ 5)"This is the largest demonstration ever to have taken place in this country and we're very proud that hundreds of thousands of women and men came over to express in this way on behalf of their hearts end on their minds. If the government will read about it or not that's another story but I'm sure it will pass, it won't pass without having an effect upon the future life of this country."
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Background: TEL AVIV, ISRAEL
The leader of Israel's opposition Labour Party, Mr. Shimon Peres, has described a rally in Tel Aviv on September 25, which called for a stated inquiry into the Beirut massacres of Palestinians, as the largest demonstration ever in Israel. Mr. Peres was speaking at the end of the protest in Tel Aviv's Square of the Kings of Israel. The Labour leader said that the rally, attended by 350,000 people according to the organisers, would not pass without an effect on the future of the country. The protesters, organised by the Labour opposition, called for the resignation of Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Defence minister Ariel Sharon, and a complete Israeli withdrawal from Beirut in addition to the inquiry. Mr. Peres told the crowd that the people who took the decision to allow the Lebanese Christian militia to enter the Palestinian refugee camps, namely Mr. Begin and Mr. Sharon, must not have the authority to take decisions in the future. Prime Minister Begin has resisted pressure to appoint a full commission of inquiry into responsibility for the massacres along with calls for the sacking of Defence Minister sharon. The Israeli government has consistently argued that the massacres would have produced an even greater toll but for the eventual intervention of the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF). But the opposition parties have said that since Israel was in occupation of West Beirut, it must carry the responsibility for the outrage.