Israel concedes defeat to hunger-striking doctors

The Israeli government conceded defeat Sunday to doctors staging a hunger strike for higher wages and appealed to the physicians to return to work. With major hospitals closed and warnings that a national disaster was imminent, the Cabinet announced it had accepted the doctors' demand that outstanding issues in the four-month-old dispute be referred to arbitration.

About half of Israel's 7,000 government-employed doctors have been on a hunger strike for almost two weeks, and most hospitals are accepting only life-or-death cases.

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