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Sunday, March 05, 2006

Massive Samaria evacuation would follow Kadima win

Former Shin Bet director general and top Kadima Achora official Avi Dichter today made what may be his party's first substantive announcement. Dichter announced that in the event that Kadima Achora wins the election, the country will be going Achora (backwards). Dichter listed ten Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria that will be evacuated have their Jews expelled in the event that Kadima Achora wins the elections. This time, they claim that they will leave the IDF in place. And the rationale for doing this is????

Dichter said that among the settlements slated for evacuation were Elon Moreh, Yitzhar, Itamar, Shiloh, Psagot, Tekoa, Nokdim, Pnei Hever, Ma'on and Otniel.

According to Dichter, a Kadima-led government would move settlers from isolated areas into the settlement blocs that Israel hopes to retain under a final peace deal. The army would continue to control the evacuated territories, he stressed.

"It's important to differentiate between civilian and military disengagement. The land will stay in IDF hands after the civilian withdrawal," Dichter explained.

"We are talking about security lines that we will begin planning after government is formed, along with coalition partners and in cooperation with settler leaders," Dichter was quoted as saying. "The meaning is that we will fold (evacuated) settlements into the settlement blocs."

The former Shin Bet chief stressed the importance of coordination with the settlers. "We will sit together with the settlers so there won't be any surprises," He told The Jerusalem Post "They were sent there to represent the state and they can have an impact [on the map]."[You mean like they sat with the Gaza revenants who are still living in hotels and caravans six months later? CiJ]

According to a Yedioth Aharanot report that Dichter said was true for the most part, Kadima's plan involves a pullout from at least 17 settlements. About 15,000 of Israel's 235,000 settlers live in these communities. However, Dichter did not outline the contours of the future border with the Palestinians.

Kadima leader, Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, has indicated that should negotiation efforts fail, he would draw Israel's borders unilaterally, as Prime Minister Ariel Sharon did over the summer when he evacuated the Gaza Strip and four settlements in the northern West Bank. "The road map is obsolete without two sides," Dichter told the Post.

Benny Katzover, head of the Elon Moreh settlement, one of the communities mentioned in the Kadima plan, said further withdrawals would not be as peaceful as the Gaza pullout.

"There is no reason why we shouldn't be beaten and suffer ... and stop this process with our bodies," Katzover told Army Radio.

Olmert recently said Israel plans to hold on to the three major settlement blocs of Ariel, Gush Etzion, Ma'aleh Adumim, as well as the Jordan River Valley. [As I have said before, the questions is what is included in those 'blocs.' Obviously, they have now decided that Tekoa and Nokdim are not part of Gush Etzion. Many Israelis thought that they were. One of the residents of Nokdim is Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman. CiJ] All except the Ariel bloc, 17 kilometers inside the West Bank, are close to Israel's border. Israel would also hold onto three other smaller settlement areas [which are? CiJ], including the Jewish neighborhoods in the heart of Hebron and nearby Kiryat Arba.

No timetable was given.

Settler leaders have vowed to fight any evacuation plan. In January, settlers clashed fiercely with security forces who dismantled nine structures in the illegal Amona outpost. More than 200 people were wounded during the clashes.

Arutz Sheva lays out the consequences of Olmert's plans:

The new Kadima plan would leave Israel with four or five isolated pockets of Israeli presence: a narrow finger 20 kilometers long from Rosh HaAyin to Ariel in the Shomron; parts of the Jordan Valley; and strips to the north, east, and south of Jerusalem. The rest of Judea and Samaria would become what many politicians have lately referred to as Hamastan.

The communities that are to remain, according to the plan Olmert wishes to implement if he wins the elections, have long been mentioned as the "settlement blocs" of Ariel, Maaleh Adumim and Gush Etzion. Karnei Shomron-Kedumim and the Jordan Valley have, occasionally, also been included in what might remain Israeli territory.

What is new about the Kadima plan, according to Dichter, is that several other communities are to remain as well - at least for the medium range. These include Kiryat Arba and Ofrah-Beit El. In addition, Dichter added, the areas that are to remain Israeli will be strengthened with the addition of the tens of thousands of residents expelled from the other areas.

Dichter explained that Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is of the opinion that if Hamas does not change its stance, which calls for the destruction of Israel and certainly no negotiations with Israel, then there will be no choice but to carry out further unilateral moves. He is now trying to persuade the U.S. and other foreign entities of this.


MK Effie Eitam (National Union) said that removing only the civilians and leaving the army is "total nonsense." He said that it would not gain Israel any "political, diplomatic or military dividends," as it would displace additional tens of thousands of Jews while leaving the army alone in territory controlled by Hamas. In addition, it would not help Israel "set future borders," as Kadima claims, "because there is no such thing as permanent borders with Hamas on the other side."

Likud Knesset faction head MK Gideon Saar said the new Kadima plan is a "prize for Hamas." "The areas to be evacuated by Israel will immediately become new Hamas bases for attack against Israel and its citizens," Saar said.


Among the communities to be erased under Ehud Olmert's plan would be the following:
In the Binyamin Regional Council, north of Jerusalem:
Shilo, Eli, Shvut Rachel, N’vei Tzuf, Psagot, Maaleh Michmas, and Maaleh Levonah.

In eastern Gush Etzion:
Tekoa, Nokdim (El-David), Maaleh Amos and Meitzad.

In Samaria Council and northern Samaria:
Kedumim, Itamar, Yitzhar, Elon Moreh, Har Bracha, Avnei Cheifetz, Mevo Dotan, Hermesh and Tapuach.

In southern Judea:
Adora, Pnei Hever, Maon, Susia, Otniel, Negohot, and Mitzpeh Shalem.
I hope that the right wing parties are paying attention and drawaing maps of what is in Kassam range from each of these towns.


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