Israeli television says the ruling Likud party has soundly defeated a plan by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to pull out of the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank.
Exit polls (late Sunday) said between 58 and 62 percent of Likud members voted against the prime minister's plan in the party referendum.
Natan Sharansky, a cabinet minister opposed to the plan, told Israeli television the result shows that Likud members, in his words, "do not accept dictates." But Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said there is, in his words, "no alternative" to the Sharon plan.
Officials with the Palestinian Authority said the results of the referendum would make no difference to the Palestinian people. They called on Mr. Sharon's government to resume negotiations under the internationally-backed "road map" to peace.
The rejection of the plan came on the day Palestinian gunmen shot and killed a pregnant Israeli woman and her four young daughters near a Gaza Strip settlement.
It is not clear what effect the killings had on the outcome of Sunday's referendum. Four Palestinians were later killed in an Israeli missile strike in the West Bank city of Nablus. No serious injuries were reported in another Israeli air raid on a Palestinian radio station in Gaza.
Mr. Sharon's plan calls for the evacuation of 21 Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip and four remote settlements in the West Bank. It would also strengthen Israeli control over other parts of the West Bank that are considered Palestinian territory.