With Israel heading to early elections, most likely in March, speculation is rife that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon might quit his ruling Likud party. His advisors are urging him to bolt because rebels opposed to his Gaza pullout last summer are making it impossible for him to govern. "For Sharon, the vacillation is about the day-after," wrote political commentator Nahum Barnea in Israel’s biggest newspaper “Yediot Ahronot.” "Mainly, he does not know how many Likud rebels will sit in the next Knesset [parliament], and how far they will go." The rebels want to punish Sharon for dismantling 21 Gaza settlements, and without their votes, Sharon won’t be able to win parliamentary support for his policies.
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