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POLITICS: Israels Parliament Likely to Approve Gaza Pullout

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posted on Oct, 25 2004 @ 11:40 PM
The Israeli Knesset is set to vote on Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s plan to withdrawal from Gaza. Despite threats of mutiny in the armed forces, death threats, can civil unrest within Israel, passage of the plan is expected. The plan backed by the United States has been the subject of a stormy debate within the Knesset. Protestors have tried to set up human chains around the building in an attempt to disrupt the vote.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel's divided parliament is widely expected to ratify Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Gaza withdrawal plan on Tuesday, a crucial step toward the first evacuation of settlers from lands Palestinians want for a state.

Despite the splintering of his coalition, mounting death threats and warnings of civil strife, Sharon was set to put his U.S.-backed "disengagement" plan to a vote after a stormy Knesset debate that began on Monday.

Police ringed the parliament as pro-settler protesters vowed to impede the proceedings inside by forming a "human chain" and parading a slow-moving procession of cars outside the building.

Sharon has tried to blunt far-right opposition by stepping up raids in Gaza, where troops killed 17 Palestinians, including an 11-year-old boy, in raids against militants on Monday, Palestinian medics and witnesses said. The army said it targeted gunmen behind mortar attacks.

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Sharon in an opening statement said that the plan would allow Israeli greater security and strengthen its grip on within the West Bank. The former General stated "I learned from experience that one cannot be victorious by the sword alone." While Israeli citizens support the plan by and large, right wing groups are opposed. Current polls predict passage of the measure by a slight margin 67 yes votes out of 120. Half of the Likud of which Sharon’s belongs to plans to vote against the plan.

posted on Oct, 26 2004 @ 06:31 AM

"This is a fateful moment for Israel. We are dealing with a difficult decision that has few parallels ... I am absolutely convinced in the depths of my heart that this disengagement will strengthen Israel in its hold of the territory that is vital for our existence." — Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon

"We cannot close our eyes. Who in the world will stand by our side if we violate all our obligations. Will the U.S. president respect the formal obligations that were made if we don't honor ours? If we say occupation is more important than peace? who will support us." — opposition leader Shimon Peres.

"(Sharon) is the architect and the originator of the settlement enterprise. So to talk like this to the people he sent, there's a name for it. It's a kind of treason." — Effie Eitam, former government minister from the hard-line National Religious Party.



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