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Peretz's Cabinet resignation hastens Israeli elections

The resignation of Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz accelerated two low-intensity processes: the disintegration of the government and the consolidation of center-left forces, with the objective of creating an anti-Netanyahu bloc.
Israel's former defence minister Amir Peretz speaks during a news conference in Tel Aviv, January 31, 2008, following the presentation of the Winograd Commission findings on Wednesday. Israeli newspapers forecast Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's survival on Thursday after a report criticised the army and his government's conduct during a 2006 war in Lebanon but offered him a political reprieve. REUTERS/Gil Cohen Magen (ISRAEL) - RTR1WI32

Minister of Environmental Protection Amir Peretz is the second minister to leave Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s third government within the space of a week. True, Netanyahu and his tottering government managed to contain the Nov. 3 resignation of Gideon Saar, a popular interior minister and Likud member. But the Nov. 9 resignation of Peretz, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni’s partner in the Hatnua Party, is another story altogether.

Netanyahu parted from Peretz with a sarcastic remark at the Cabinet meeting in which the environmental minister announced his resignation. Now, the next-in-line explosions in Netanyahu’s government are only a matter of time. This is expected to be followed by the final collapse of the government, perhaps even in the coming months.

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