Report on Israeli Settlement in the Occupied Territories Vol 14 #4


“By the end of 2005, not one Jew will remain in the Gaza Strip,” declared Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon three days before the June 6 cabinet endorsement of his plan to evacuate all 7,000 settlers from the Gaza Strip and less than 1,000 from four settlements in the northern West Bank.

The endorsement came only weeks after Likud activists rejected Sharon’s initial evacuation plan. In the wake of this embarrassing setback, minor elements of the plan were modified. The new plan reaffirms Sharon’s strategic intention to end Israel’s occupation of Gaza, splits the evacuation during 2005 into four stages, calls “in general” for the physical demolition of settlement housing, and states explicitly Israel’s intention “not [to] cede the right to a permanent military presence in the territorial area of the Gaza Strip” and the northern West Bank.