Dichter said that the terrorist organizations, seeing this as an Israeli surrender, have begun an internal war for the "credit" for this achievement, and "this is manifest by their stepping-up of terrorism against the Jews of Gaza and IDF soldiers."
A senior Bush Administration official is also against Sharon's plan, fearing that it will empower Hamas and bury the Road Map. The unnamed official "leaked" this information to a Reuters reporter yesterday. Despite Israeli diplomatic efforts, the White House has so far refused to set a date for a meeting between President Bush and Prime Minister Sharon. Such a meeting can be held, at the earliest, in March.
Following the remarks by Intelligence Chief Farkash in the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee yesterday - he said that a unilateral withdrawal could lead to an increase in terrorism - IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Yaalon said that army officers should not comment publicly on the plan. Yaalon said he is trying to avoid friction between governmental and military echelons.