The Knesset (parliament) has dealt an embarrassing defeat to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, by voting down his nomination of two new Cabinet ministers. The defeat was engineered by rebels from Sharon’s ruling Likud party, who want to punish him for pulling out of the Gaza Strip last summer and dismantling 21 Jewish settlements there. “We have to block this continued attempt by the Prime Minister to go into those appointments, which are yet a further step towards corrupting the political system of Israel," said Likud rebel Uzi Landau, an arch-opponent of the Gaza pullout.
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