The new right-wing government says it will spend more on Jewish settlements in the occupied lands and won't promise not to settle Soviet Jews there, positions bound to set it on a collision course with Washington.
Also Tuesday, a member of the Cabinet's defense committee said Israel should deport the leaders of the 30-month-old Palestinian uprising in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.Washington opposes both deportations and Jewish settlement in lands captured from Arab countries in the 1967 Middle East war. It also has urged Israel to show restraint in dealing with the uprising.
In the latest uprising-related violence, Israeli troops pursuing Palestinian stone-throwers fired tear gas into a U.N. clinic in Gaza City Tuesday, and 66 infants and toddlers were treated for inhaling the fumes, the army said.
In Jerusalem, a 17-year-old Jewish seminary student going to prayers at the Western Wall was stabbed twice in the stomach. He was reported in fair condition at a Jerusalem hospital.
On the new government's first working day, it was criticized by Israeli newspapers across the political spectrum, as well as by Arab leaders.
The coalition is made up of 10 rightist and religious factions and led by the Likud bloc of Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir. Parliament approved the government on Monday.
The independent Haaretz daily wrote that Shamir's proposed polices "will only worsen Israel's international isolation." The left-leaning Al Hamishar said they would "cause further incitement among the Palestinian population."
The conservative Maariv daily wrote that "no government in the country's history was born of greater sin than the present one."
Shamir's coalition was built with the help of defectors lured by promises of Cabinet posts and money.
In Cairo, the Egyptian government said in a statement that Israel has apparently begun "to prepare for aggression and war."
Official Cairo Radio said President Hosni Mubarak telephoned President Bush to discuss developments in the Middle East but gave no further details. Egypt is the only Arab state to have signed a peace treaty with Israel.
In Jordan, King Hussein called the new Israeli government a "dangerous threat." And in Syria, Israel's bitter enemy, President Hafez Assad warned of a new war with the Jewish state and said such a confrontation would be bloodier than any of the previous wars.