He Ru Follow us: Make a7 your Homepage
      Free Daily Israel Report

      Arutz 7 Most Read Stories

      Blogs


      MK Hendel Has "Proof That Sharon is Using Gaza to Stop Investigation"

      MK Tzvi Hendel, the first politician to imply that Prime Minister Sharon's recent and sudden plans to withdraw unilaterally from Gaza were the result of the police investigation against him, now says he has solid proof that this is the case.
      First Publish: 2/9/2004, 2:48 PM / Last Update: 2/9/2004, 10:05 AM

      MK Tzvi Hendel, the first politician to imply that Prime Minister Sharon's recent and sudden plans to withdraw unilaterally from Gaza were the result of the police investigation against him, now says he has solid proof that this is the case.

      Hendel told Arutz-7 that he is in possession of "solid evidence" showing that Sharon and his aides held a meeting with the goal of finding a way to "neutralize" the legal and judicial threat hanging over his head. As is known, Sharon has already been questioned twice by police on suspicion of having received a bribe from businessman David Appel. Appel himself has already been indicted on this and related charges. "The feeling [at the meeting] was unanimous," Hendel said, "that the way to stop the investigations is by starting a major new diplomatic initiative."

      What is needed now, Hendel says, is a "quick decision by the Attorney-General as to whether to indict Sharon. If he is indicted, he will have to step down from office. And if they close the file against him, then Sharon will abandon his ideas of retreat and expelling Jews from their homes."

      Hendel serves as Deputy Education Minister, and was head of the Gaza Coast Regional Council before entering the Knesset. He still resides in Ganei Tal, one of the first Gush Katif communities.

      "There have been precedents," Hendel said, "when the beginning of major diplomatic initiatives led to the closing of police investigations against the one leading the initiative. This is why they decided, at the meeting at Sharon's residence on the Shikmim Farm, to go for a major move that would include no less than the uprooting of all of Gush Katif and the expulsion of the Jews in Gaza from their homes."

      Asked the usual question of why he and his party have not quit the coalition, Hendel said, "Even though I am disgusted with the government and with the Prime Minister and his moves, and even though I am aware of the public feeling, I still plan to act according to my beliefs, which are that as long as there is even a 10% chance that I can help the cause from within the government, no pressure will move me out of here. If I feel that I can do more good from outside the government, I won't remain here a minute longer." He noted that there is already an agreement between Likud and Labor that the latter will enter the coalition as soon as the National Union leaves.

      The National Union, National Religious Party, and others who object to the plan demand that Sharon present it to the Cabinet for debate and a vote before he departs for Washington to present it to U.S. President George Bush. "However," Hendel says, "Sharon knows that he does not have a majority in the Cabinet, and that's why he doesn't want to do this. Stronger and stronger pressure will force him to do it... In a normal democratic country, the head of state consults with the members of his government - for if not, what do we need the government for?"