Several dramatic events preceded the elections to the Seventeenth Knesset on March 28, 2006, beginning with the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in August 2005 and its attendant and unprecedented removal of Jewish settlements and settlers, followed by major shifts among and within the various political parties. Most dramatic was the split in Likud when Prime Minister Ariel Sharon decided to form a new party, Kadima, leading to the breakup of the Likud party that Sharon had formed in 1973. Both Labor and Likud found themselves with new leaders-Amir Peretz and Binyamin Netanyahu-and with depleted ranks. Shinui, a party that had soared in 2003 under the leadership of Tommy Lapid, but whose second-tier activists soured on the leadership and ruptured it three years later, imploded before the elections. And Sharon, prime minister since 2001, succumbed to a stroke soon after he had formed Kadima and arranged for elections to be held at the end of March 2006. He was succeeded by his deputy prime minister, Ehud Olmert.
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© 2008 by Taylor and Francis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Social Sciences