Israel will ask the US for $2.2 billion dollars to pay for next month's planned pullout from the Gaza Strip. Political sources say the money would be used to relocate army bases and more than 8,000 evacuated settlers to underdeveloped areas inside Israel. "We have to develop the Negev and the Galilee, which are the only alternatives to these territories [i.e. Gaza]," said Deputy Prime Minister
Shimon Peres. Finance Ministry officials will deliver the aid request today to the Bush administration in Washington. Israel says it's ready to pay a high price for peace, but it's sending the bill to Uncle Sam.