According to sources associated with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Former Labor Party chairman - the man with the most clout in his party - Shimon Peres has decided to abandon Labor for Sharon’s new party. Labor suffered another blow, probably connected to Peres’ departure, when his closest ally Dalia Itzik (Photo) announced that she would also join Sharon's Kadima party. Labor did gain a member though when well-known Israeli journalist Sheli Yehimovitch declared that she was quitting her job and joining Labor under Amir Peretz, who recently won the Labor party elections. Peres is expected to announce that he will quit party politics and that he has accepted an offer from Sharon to become a senior minister in charge of peace talks with Palestinians. Peres hinted that his, “Goal is to make peace and it doesn't matter with which party.” A Sharon associate noted that, “This is a blow for Labor chairman Amir Peretz, whose inexperience will be even more blatant now.”
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