Photo: Avi Cohen
Minister, settlers meet
Photo: Avi Cohen

'Forces will not carry arms’

Police officers and soldiers who take part in settlement evacuation will not carry weapons, Internal Security Minister Ezra says following meeting with settler leaders. Participants agree to meet once a week

TEL AVIV - Police officers and soldiers who take part in settlement evacuation will not be carrying weapons, Internal Security Minister Gideon Ezra announced Thursday.


The announcement was made following a meeting between Ezra and settler leaders in Tel Aviv. Police Chief Moshe Karadi and Knesset Member Effie Eitam also took part in the session.


Addressing reports about the possible disarmament of would-be evacuees, Ezra said security forces would not be confiscating weapons


“The handover (of weapons) would depend on the residents’ free will,” he said. “This will be done as close to the evacuation date as possible and not in the near future.”


Meanwhile, the participants said they plan to hold such meetings every week, ahead of the pullout plan’s implementation. Future meetings are expected to address the handover of settlers’ weapons, as well as the evacuation of women and children.


The sides also agreed to avoid employing agents provocateurs.


‘Dialogue must be maintained’


During the meeting, Ezra estimated that despite the settlers’ projections, only small numbers of Israelis will be arriving at Gaza Strip communities in a bid to thwart the pullout. The minister also said he believes the evacuation process would not take long.


Eitam, however, dismissed Ezra’s remarks and said “many more than 100,000 will come during the evacuation.”


Following the meeting, Eitam stressed the importance of maintaining dialogue.


“We must shape the rules of this struggle… so it’s carried out with great determination, but on the other hand, (we must ensure) that the State of Israel doesn’t sink into an abyss that allows for no way back,” he said.


Eitam added that his comments do not indicate that he has reconciled himself to the pullout.


פרסום ראשון: 03.31.05, 19:20
 new comment
This will delete your current comment