JERUSALEM — In a belated power switch, Yitzhak Shamir was sworn in today as Israel's ninth prime minister and vowed to funnel funds into Jewish settlements of the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Shamir was installed immediately after the Knesset, or Parliament, gave him and his proposed 25-member Cabinet an overwhelming vote of confidence--82 legislators voting in favor, 17 against and 3 abstaining.
Shamir, 71, took over from caretaker Prime Minister Shimon Peres, in keeping with an unprecedented joint-rule accord between Shamir's right-wing Likud bloc and the left-leaning Labor Party.
Before the vote, Shamir told the Knesset that as prime minister he will promote Israeli settlement in the occupied territories. He also said he would prevent Palestinian "gangs from entrenching themselves in Lebanon and establishing bases there."
Peace a 'Priority'
Shamir said he would make Middle East peace "a priority" but added that Israel and Jordan will not reach the negotiating table unless Jordan gives up its demand for an international peace conference.
"No international forum can serve as a substitute for direct negotiations," Shamir said. "We will not be able to achieve peace without free, direct, face-to-face discussion."
Shamir, who was prime minister for a year in 1983-84, said he would make Jewish settlement of the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, with a population of about 1.4 million Palestinians, a top priority.
"The government will seek . . . an economy that will be based not only on solid economic principles, but also on the Zionist principles which must be our guide, among them the supreme value of settlement throughout the land of Israel," Shamir said.
Peres, who resigned as prime minister Oct. 10 in keeping with the September, 1984, coalition agreement, took the podium after Shamir's speech, shook his hand and wished him luck.
Peres succeeds Shamir as foreign minister under the agreement.