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Ariel Sharon (b. 1928) Israeli general and Likud statesman

Ehud Olmert (b. 1945)



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A centre‐right party founded by Ariel Sharon in 2005. Sharon created the party after Likud failed to support his plans for imposing a unilateral peace settlement on Palestine. Neither the details of Sharon's plans, nor other parts of the party's programme, had been worked out when Sharon suffered a severe stroke on 4 January 2006. Led by Ehud Olmert thereafter, the party emerged as the strongest party from the 2006 elections, gaining 26 seats. It entered a coalition with Labour, but lost in popularity owing to Olmert's handling of the war against Hezbollah in 2006. This forced Olmert to extend the coalition to encompass the ultra‐nationalist Yisrale Beitenu party, weakening Kadima's distinctiveness yet further, Olmert's unpopularity persisted, however, so that the party continued to suffer from a lack of sense of direction and leadership.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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