Labor’s Plan: Withdraw Israelis from Gaza Within One Year

Thursday, January 9, 2003 | Tag Cloud

Labor’s Plan: Withdraw Israelis from Gaza Within One Year
Jan. 9, 2003

Jerusalem (ICEJ) — A Labor-led government would drain the Jewish settlements in Gaza and transfer Israelis living there to the Negev and the southern coastal plain within one year, according to an internal Labor Party document obtained by Ha’aretz.

Party chairman Amram Mitzna, running for prime minister, received the document Monday and has yet to decide whether to adopt all of its proposals.

The draft document provides three options for each settlement: disband the settlement and give each family or individual monetary compensation; transfer the settlement as an integral community to new locations already planned; or integrate settlers into existing communities located inside the 1967 Green Line border.

A team headed by senior advisors to former Prime Minister Ehud Barak formulated the proposal. Immediately upon forming a government, the Labor Party would declare its intent to evacuate the Gaza Strip within one year.

“All efforts would be made to work out agreements with the Palestinians and the international community regarding this withdrawal,” the draft document states.

If a withdrawal agreement is not reached with the Palestinians, Israel would rally support for the establishment of an international mandate to take over security in the Gaza Strip.

“Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza could serve as a `pilot’ for international intervention,” according to the document.

The document also says that a “clear and defined” border be drawn between Jewish and Arab Jerusalem, with “each municipality responsible for its residents and sovereign within its area.”

In addition, the document emphasizes that “the right of return of refugees to the State of Israel will not be recognized under any circumstances.”

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