Israeli media reported today that some top army officers want to delay the planned pullout from the Gaza Strip for up to six months because of slow preparations and the growing strength of Palestinian terrorists. The officers believe a delay could be used as pressure on the Palestinian Authority to disarm terrorist groups. Another major problem is that no temporary housing has been prepared for the 8,500 settlers slated for expulsion. The army chief of staff denied the report, and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said there would be no more delays. "The disengagement is to be carried out on the exact date that has been set," Sharon told reporters. "I think it will begin on the 16th or the 17th" of August.
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