The government of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has survived three motions of no confidence in parliament.
Mr. Sharon had been widely expected to survive the votes in the Knesset today (Monday) after the ultra-nationalist National Union - Yisrael Beitenu opposition party said it would abstain while talks for a new coalition government are ongoing.
Shortly after, the parliament approved the appointment of Shaul Mofaz, a former army chief, as the new defense minister.
Earlier today (Monday), Mr. Sharon said it would be irresponsible to hold early elections. Mr. Sharon also renewed calls to Likud party rival Benjamin Netanyahu to serve as his foreign minister, even though Mr. Netanyahu has asked for fresh elections as a condition to accept.
Mr. Sharon's struggle to rebuild a coalition government follows the government departure of the Labor Party last week. The Labor Party quit the coalition mainly over the funding of Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.