New York – The major Israeli newspaper Maariv reported on June 3, 2005 that a new poll shows that support for the Gaza Evacuation Plan has dropped to 50% of all Israelis (less than 50% for Jewish Israelis). Support for the Gaza Plan has been eroding steadily in the last few months. In addition, the poll showed that of all those Israelis who support the Gaza Plan, 70% of them do not support it “wholeheartedly”.
The Maariv poll reinforces statements made by military officials last week that the intensity and depth of the anti-evacuation public could “shut down the country” and that the defense establishment will not be able to carry out the plan. (YNET News and Israel National News – 6/3/05)
In fact, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told members of the US House Appropriations Committee visiting Jerusalem last week, “The protest and objection to the disengagement plan in Israel is increasing, while public support for it is diminishing Questions are being asked — what happened to Bush’s promises? — and people say the whole disengagement plan is a bluff after Abbas’ meeting with President Bush, the Palestinians came out feeling no pressure to fight terror, and that they don’t have to take immediate action.
The Palestinians understood that there is no serious pressure now to act against terror, and they can act slowly and carry out reforms. But democratic reforms cannot be a substitute for a war on terror. They also understand that they can proceed with the understanding and agreements with the terror organizations and not fight them. The result is an increase in terror.” (Haaretz, 5/31/05)
In the last few weeks, Natan Sharansky and outgoing IDF Chief General Moshe Ya’alon warned that leaving Gaza would increase the terror in Judea, Samaria, Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem. They joined numerous other Israeli military and political leaders who believe that leaving Gaza rewards terror and will cause more terror.
Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said yesterday that “as Israel’s target date for withdrawal from Gaza and northern Samaria grows closer, terror organizations are becoming increasingly stronger and Abbas is not taking any serious steps to root out the terrorist infrastructure, disarm terrorists or bring an end to the current state of anarchy in PA-controlled areas.”
On Sunday, Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei warned of “an explosion in the occupied territories as a result of Israeli actions.”