Ehud Barak, Israel Defense Minister, Quits Labor Party

JERUSALEM — Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak abruptly announced Monday that he was leaving the Labor Party – dividing the movement that dominated Israeli politics for decades and setting off a chain reaction that cast new doub…

JERUSALEM — Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak abruptly announced Monday that he was leaving the Labor Party – dividing the movement that dominated Israeli politics for decades and setting off a chain reaction that cast new doubts over already troubled peace efforts with the Palestinians.

The split in the iconic party that led Israel to independence did not appear to threaten the majority of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition. Barak, a former prime minister and military chief, will stay in the ruling coalition with four followers who joined him.

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