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WAR: Sharon Rejects Israeli Settler Demands Over Gaza

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posted on Oct, 18 2004 @ 02:30 AM
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, rejected settlers requests and pledged to move foreword with his plan to withdraw them from Gaza. The meeting with the settlers only served to increase the hostility between them and Sharon.
JERUSALEM - Longtime allies turned enemies, Ariel Sharon and Jewish settlers leaders only succeeded in deepening their hostility during their first effort to end their impasse over the prime minister"s disengagement plan.

Settlers, calling Sunday"s meeting "shameful," raised the specter of civil war unless Sharon changes his course. Sharon told the settlers that he understands their anguish but pledged to push forward with his plan, which he wants to put to a parliamentary vote on Oct. 25.

Settler leaders had hoped to persuade the premier to hold a nationwide vote on the plan, which calls for the removal of all 21 settlements from the Gaza Strip as well as four small Jewish enclaves in the northern part of the West Bank.

Although polls show a solid majority of Israelis supporting the plan, Sharon opposes a referendum as a delaying tactic by opponents. Legal experts say the process could take months.

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Deming the discussion “Shameful” the settlers raised the possibility of a civil war if forced to abandon their homes. Sharon who hopes to have a vote on October 23rd has put forth a plan that would withdrawal 21 settlements from the Gaza area. While some accuse Sharon of caving in to the escalating violence, he points out that it strengthens Israelis grip over a large swath of the West Bank and would enhance its security. Despite opposition in the Knesset, Sharon’s plan is expected to prevail. The reaction of Israeli extremist groups remains to be seen.


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