Peres: Leave Gaza settlements intact

Monday, May 09, 2005 | 
Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres, the country’s top dove, is continuing to push for Israel to hand the Gaza settlements intact to the Palestinians. A government decision last year called for the settlements to be demolished to prevent the spectacle of Palestinians celebrating on abandoned Jewish property. But Peres says that’s not practical. "If we destroy the homes, it will lengthen the process by three months since according to international law, we will need to clean up the debris," Peres told the “Jerusalem Post,” adding that it would cost $60 million. "Then we have to find a place in Israel to dump it.” He said it would not only be a waste of money, it would delay the pullout, giving opponents more time to organize resistance. The Cabinet is expected to vote on the issue in a couple of weeks.

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