Sharon says Israel cannot remain in Gaza forever
JERUSALEM – Displays of violence by a “small and vocal” minority of settlers must be curbed, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Tuesday during a Jewish Agency rally in Jerusalem.
The remarks marked the first time the prime minister addresses the growing violence employed by far right activists who have gathered in Gush Katif ahead of the upcoming Gaza Strip withdrawal.
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The exit from Gaza is a difficult and painful move for all Israelis, and therefore it is important the nation remains united, he said.
Sharon then warned against a “small, law-breaking minority that is using violence against IDF and law enforcement authorities, as we saw in recent days in the Maoz Hayam hotel.”
Calls for insubordination and disruptions of public order jeopardize the existence of the state and the security of Israelis, and should be opposed, the prime minister said, and added he was certain authorities would adopt “all necessary measures” to end the unruly behavior.
“Disagreements exist and are legitimate in a democratic society, but we must not allow disagreements to make us forget what unites us,” Sharon said.
The prime minister added the disengagement plan stemmed from the recognition that a future deal with the Palestinians cannot be reconciled with an Israeli presence in Gaza.
Israel clearly lacks the ability to guarantee a Jewish majority in all parts of the land and take care of millions of Palestinian residents, Sharon said.
“We had a dream to be in all parts of the Land of Israel, but unfortunately we do not have an ability to realize all of it,” he said.