Budget approval clears the way for Gaza pullout

Wednesday, March 30, 2005 | 
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon overcame the last legislative obstacle to his plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip, when the Knesset (parliament) ratified the 2005 state budget. The 58-36 vote dashed the last hope of Sharon’s hawkish opponents to bring down the government and stop the pullout. Now, Israel plans to begin the withdrawal in July and dismantle 21 Gaza settlements and four more in northern Samaria. “This is the policy and it is going to be carried out soon,” said Deputy Premier Ehud Olmert. "I am far from saying this plan will bring peace and quiet...but it creates a chance, it creates hope."

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