Olmert opposes Peretz outpost evacuation plan

Tuesday, October 17, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has announced his opposition to the plans of Defense Minister Amir Peretz to begin evacuating illegal outposts in the West Bank within two weeks.

The plan calls for an initial two week window where a dialogue with the settlers could lead to peaceful evacuations of the outposts. Peretz said that if an agreement has not been reached during that timeframe, the Israel Defense Forces and police will begin forcefully evacuating the illegal outposts.

Sources in the prime minister’s office say that the Olmert will not allow Peretz to turn this issue into a political spin move just to push away Lieberman’s entry into the coalition. A source close to the prime minister said that “we will not evacuate outposts because of a political spin. No outpost will be evacuated without the approval of the cabinet, and the defense minister has not handed us any list of outposts to be evacuated.”

In reference to the current situation in Gaza, Defense Minister Peretz said that the political echelon has agreed to step up the activities against the Palestinian terror groups and against arms smugglers. However, Peretz clarified that he does not wish for a large scale ground offensive in Gaza, although larger actions had already been approved in the past.

Peretz emphasized that Israel will not allow Gaza to turn into a south Lebanon. As far as we are concerned, the times of inspecting the delivery documents of each and every missile are over. We are targeting all of them and it does not matter which organization they belong to.”

In his words Peretz also referred to Syria and said that President Bashar Assad is speaking out of both sides of his mouth and that the IDF is prepared for any possible scenario.

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