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Last Updated: Sunday, 22 April 2007, 11:26 GMT 12:26 UK
Israeli Arab resigns from Knesset
Azmi Bishara (file photo)
Azmi Bishara says he is the victim of a political conspiracy
Israeli Arab MP Azmi Bishara has resigned, weeks after leaving the country amid a police investigation into unspecified criminal allegations.

He tendered his resignation at the Israeli embassy in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, and said he would stay abroad for a while.

Mr Bishara is an outspoken critic of policies toward the Palestinians

He leads the National Democratic Assembly (Balad), which has three members in the 120-seat Knesset.

"Exile is not an option. Return is definite but the matter will take some time and arrangements, I want to set the rules of the game," Mr Bishara told the Arab news channel al-Jazeera.

"I have commitments now with other countries which I cannot make if I were there. This is why I decided to end my responsibilities with my former post."

Mr Bishara, 50, says he is the victim of a political conspiracy.

He entered parliament in 1996 and three years later became the first Arab Israeli to run for prime minister.

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