The coalition talks for a national unity government [Likud and Labor] appear to be headed to a successful conclusion, following an agreement yesterday on the guidelines by future Cabinet Secretary Gid\'on Saar and Labor party Minister Chaim Ramon. It is still not clear whether it will be a party committee or Ehud Barak who will appoint the Labor party\'s ministers in the new government.

The general guidelines agreed upon yesterday do not include a clause guaranteeing the integrity of Jerusalem, nor do they promise that Israel will not withdraw from the Golan Heights, nor do they permit the construction of new Yesha communities. Some reactions to the proposed guidelines:

Likud MK Avraham Hirschson demands that the Jerusalem clause be inserted, as \"Jerusalem was the major issue in the election, and it was that which gave Sharon his sweeping victory.\" Hirschson further said that if Sharon does not agree, he would bring the matter to the Likud Central Committee for a final decision.

Regarding the Yesha towns, MK Benny Elon (National Union) said: \"As long as the guidelines don\'t include something that is contrary to the fundamentals of Jewish belief, they are merely words. We need not fall into the trap that the left-wing is setting for us, and cause dissention within the nationalist camp.\" He noted that construction in Yesha had continued even under the Barak and Rabin/Peres governments.

Atty. Elyakim Ha\'etzni, on the other hand, sees the clause precluding new settlements in a very negative light: \"Our new government, supposedly right-wing, sees the Yesha enterprise as a problem that must be restricted. Even natural growth, which the guidelines permit, will be overseen by the Defense Minister - who will be of the left-wing. We have reached a situation that is simply heart-breaking. After four months where the residents of Yesha showed such nobility, unprecedented in the world, under fire, with so many sacrifices - and then there were elections, and their supposed champion has risen to power - and then they receive such a slap in the face...\"

The lack of mention of the Golan does not worry the residents there. Uri Heitner, spokesman for the Golan Residents Committee, said that even the Labor party knows that Israel will not withdraw from the Golan Heights, as a majority of the public is against it.