Gaza to live and die with Sharon


The Israeli Prime Minister is the last man the Palestinians should want to kill because only he can give them what they have hardly dared dream of: the Gaza Strip on a platter.

Sharon has pledged to evacuate Israeli settlers from Gaza, probably by the summer of 2005. In so doing, he is defying Israel’s traditional position – one backed by the security services – that there be no withdrawal except within the framework of a negotiated agreement with the Palestinians.

Defending his position during a heated Knesset debate on Monday, Sharon said: “There are 1.2million Palestinians living (in the Gaza Strip) and I don’t see future Jewish settlement existing there.”

The Palestinian Authority and Hamas have formed committees to distribute the houses in the settlements that they anticipate the Israelis will be evacuating.

Despite Hamas’s threats, the chances of Sharon being assassinated are remote. But legal experts rate the chances of him being felled by the bribery allegations levelled against him at 50:50.