Reuters reported yesterday: Sharon Stuns Party, Says Gaza Settlements Will Go.
"I have given the order to plan for the evacuation of 17 settlements in the Gaza Strip," the right-wing [Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon] told the Haaretz newspaper. "I am working on the assumption that in the future there will be no Jews in Gaza."[...]
"We are talking of a population of 7,500 people. It's not a simple matter. We are talking of thousands of square km (miles) of hothouses, factories and packing plants," he said. "The first thing is to ask their agreement, to reach an agreement with the residents...it's not a quick matter, especially if it's done under fire," he added.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported: Gaza settlers take to the media to fight against Sharon's plan to remove their homes.
Rachel Sapperstein, 63, a teacher and another Brooklyn native [said ...] the settlers earned the right to stay here because of the constant danger they face from Palestinian militants.
"We've been living here under mortars and shelling for all these years and our reward for that is being thrown out of our homes," she said.
Sapperstein said she believes Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat is laughing at what she called Israel's capitulation.
Dismantling settlements amid the violence would only invite more attacks, settlement spokesman Dror Vanunu said. [...]
Just a few miles and a world away in Gaza City, Palestinians celebrating the Eid Al Adha festival said they do not believe the settlements will be evacuated.
"Sharon is a terrorist, all his speeches are lies," said Wael Yusuf, a Palestinian police officer wearing khaki fatigues, carrying a Kalashnikov and eating orange cotton candy beside a park filled with hundreds of frolicking children.
Even if Israel did leave the Gaza settlements, it would not be enough, Yusuf said. Israel would also have to give back the West Bank, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa and every other square inch of land it inhabits, he said.
And from the Jerusalem Newswire: Terrorists see Sharon plan as victory.
Palestinian terrorist organizations this week gloated over Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to unilaterally evacuate all Jews from the Gaza Strip, calling his words a "victory" for the Palestinian "resistance."
One terrorist wants to see Israel run away from Gaza as it did from southern Lebanon in 2000, and said that such a scene would make the Palestinian victory complete.
Israeli military commanders warned that a unilateral withdrawal from Gaza at this time would cause a drastic increase in Palestinian terrorism against the Jewish state. [...]
"The removal of settlements or even a withdrawal from Gaza will not end the occupation. Therefore, the resistance will continue," [Senior Palestine Islamic Jihad terrorist Nafiz Azzam] said.
Hamas leaders issued similar statements, calling Sharon's plan a victory for Palestinian terror, and vowing to push on to their goal of eradicating the Jewish state.
Posted by Forkum at February 4, 2004 07:58 AM