Minister of Diaspora Affairs Natan Sharansky submitted his resignation to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Monday in protest over the disengagement plan, Israeli Army Radio reported.

‘We are standing before a terrible rift in the nation and to my regret I sense no effort by the government to prevent it,’ Sharansky wrote in his letter of resignation.

Sharansky, a right wing opponent to the pullout plan, has said he would not remain in a government responsible for evacuating Jewish settlements in the West bank and Gaza Strip.