Sharon meets divided settlement leaders

Tuesday, April 05, 2005 | 
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon meets with angry Jewish settlement leaders today, to discuss his plan to pull out of the Gaza Strip this summer. But the settlers are divided over how to respond. Settlement leaders have been calling for mass resistance to the plan to dismantle 21 Jewish communities in Gaza. But some leaders are breaking ranks now that the pullout appears inevitable. They want to prepare for the day after, and one prominent idea is that residents of the Gush Katif settlement bloc in southern Gaza will move together to a new community inside Israel. "Ninety percent of the residents don't want to leave Gush Katif, but…we need life insurance in case, God forbid, the fight is lost," said Knesset member (parliamentarian) and Gaza resident Zvi Hendel. Opponents say the settlement leaders who support this idea are “a fifth column of traitors.”

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