JERUSALEM – Terrorism is expected to grow following the upcoming Gaza and northern West Bank pullout, IDF Central Command Head Yair Naveh told the Knesset Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee during a tour Sunday.
As a result of the grim assessment, Naveh recommended the IDF remain in the area three months after the evacuation in the event of attacks originating from Palestinian-controlled areas.
There is a "huge" rise in the amount of weaponry being smuggled into the West Bank, he said, adding that he did not see fit to coordinate the pullout with Palestinian security forces.
Following Naveh’s remarks, Knesset Member Uri Ariel (National Union) said the latest assessment comes on the heels of a long series of warnings by military officials regarding the “uprooting disaster brought upon us by Sharon.”
‘Difficult settlements to be evacuated last’
On another front, the planned pullout from the northern West Bank will only be undertaken after the evacuation of the Gaza Strip and not under fire, Naveh said.
"The difficult-to-evacuate settlements will be evacuated last," he said, referring to communities where residents are expected to offer staunch resistance to the pullout.
Naveh told Knesset members present at the meeting that he estimates the greatest opposition will come from the West Bank settlement of Homesh.
He said the evacuation schedule is flexible, but also dependent on the pace of the disengagement from the Gaza Strip.
Another settlement to be evacuated?
Meanwhile, the Knesset committee members met with northern West Bank settlement representatives, where residents were given the opportunity to voice their complaints regarding the functioning of the Disengagement Administration.
The settlers also claimed that government ministers have been avoiding dialogue prior to the pullout.
Moreover, committee member Avraham Sochat said the northern West Bank settlement of Mavo Dotan is also expected to be evacuated soon, settlers who met with him said.
Notably, Mavo Dotan is not included in the list of settlements slated for evacuation in th framework of the upcoming Gaza Strip and northern West Bank pullout