Top official wants Gaza settlements left intact

Monday, February 28, 2005 | 
The head of Israel's National Security Council, Giora Eiland, says buildings in Jewish settlements in Gaza should be left intact when Israel pulls out this summer. Originally, the plan was to demolish the settlements to prevent the spectacle of Palestinians celebrating on abandoned Jewish property. But Eiland says demolishing the homes would cost $18.4 million dollars and too much army manpower. "We advise against destroying the homes," Eiland told Israel Radio. "When you weigh the pros and would be better to try to reach an agreement to hand over the houses in an organized manner... to international or more responsible Palestinian parties." Critics say this is a reward for terrorism.

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