Natan Sharansky resigned to protest against the disengagement plan

&to=http:// ' target=_blank>Natan Sharansky, a member of the Israeli Cabinet known for his criticism of the Israeli government's dealings with the Palestinians, submitted his resignation Monday.

The adviser said Sharansky wrote a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announcing his resignation, which will take effect Wednesday, in protest at Sharon's Gaza disengagement plan, reports CNN News.

According to the Washington Post, Sharansky, who spent a decade in prison in the former Soviet Union and immigrated to Israel in 1986, has been an outspoken proponent of the expansion of &to=http:// ' target=_blank>economicJewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip throughout his political career here.

While Sharansky's resignation is unlikely to have any major impact on Sharon's plan to begin removing all 21 settlements in Gaza and four small settlements in the northern West Bank this summer, it is symptomatic of the vocal opposition of some member's of Sharon's government who have dogged the prime minister's efforts.

Sharon praised Sharansky at Monday morning's cabinet meeting, where the chair of his minister in charge of Jerusalem and the diaspora was empty, saying, "I would be very pleased if he would continue serving, and thank him and commend him for his work on the issues that fell within his responsibility."

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