The Yom Kippur War started with a surprise attack on Israel by Egyptian and Syrian military forces. The Israeli government was caught off-guard, since it imposed a ceasefire in the Suez Canal without surrendering its political positions. Israel also disregarded Egypt's military capabilities after President Gamal Abdel Nasser died and his deputy, Anwar Sadat, took over. Despite being in the opposition, Menachem Begin showed remarkable knowledge about the war and the various tactics employed, and it eventually became clear that his source was Major General (Reserve) Ariel Sharon, the commander of Division 143 in Sinai. Begin would lead a new political party, the Likud, established by Sharon and Chaim Weizmann. In June 1974, Golda Meir resigned as prime minister and was replaced by Hamaarach candidate Yitzhak Rabin, who served as Israel Defense Forces chief of staff during the Six-Day War and former Israeli ambassador to the United States.
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