TEL AVIV - The disengagement is set to be delayed until mid August due to the Jewish mourning period marking the Second Temple's destruction, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Monday in a television interview.
While Sharon refrained from announcing a specific date, he did say the disengagement would commence between August 15 -17.
“The Rabbis requested the evacuation be postponed until the religious mourning period is over,” Sharon said.
During the interview Sharon also discussed the closing down of Gush Katif ahead of the pullout.
“The most important thing is to maintain normal life for as long as possible to make it easier on the residents,” he said.
Sharon added problems may surface when people who aim at disrupting the disengagement would start flowing to Gush Katif.
Military preparations adjusted to new window
An IDF official said plans could be adjusted to the new date. “We would have to make some changes in the original plan, but we could have everything adapted to mid August.”
At first, when the idea to push back disengagement by three weeks came up, security officials expressed discontent. However, IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon told his officers to refrain from speaking their minds on the issue.
Furthermore, Ya’alon said he would execute the mission on any set date.
Another military source added all military preparations, including the training of troops, were adjusted to the mid August window.