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The election ends Likud's long period in opposition
Israel's resurgent right wing

Hardline Irgun and Lehi groups may have been instrumental in the creation of Israel in 1948, but their heirs in the Herut (later Likud) party failed to win an Israeli election until 1977.

Until this time Israeli politics had been dominated by the left-wing Labour Party. Likud ideology focused on extending Israeli sovereignty in the whole of the earlier Britsh Mandate Palestine, as well as claiming Jordanian territory as part of the "Greater Israel" of Biblical times.

The new government, led by former Irgun leader Menachem Begin, intensified Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank and Gaza with a view to creating "facts on the ground" to prevent any future territorial compromise over the areas captured in 1967.

Agriculture minister Ariel Sharon spearheaded this movement as chairman of the ministerial committee for settlements until 1981.

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