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IDF General: Delay Samaria Pullout, Reject PA Help

Central Region Commander Maj.-Gen. Yair Naveh warned today that rockets and fatal terrorist attacks will follow an IDF withdrawal from Samaria, which he says should be delayed for three months.

First Publish: 5/29/2005, 2:40 PM / Last Update: 5/29/2005, 4:07 PM

Maj-Gen. Naveh also said Israel should not evacuate civilians with cooperation from the Palestinian Authority (PA). He told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, which toured northern Samaria Sunday morning, that a bleak future awaits Israel after the planned evacuation of four communities in the area.

"After we leave the area, terror will increase and there will be Kassam rockets and other terrorist attacks," he stated. The head of the Central Command also said that the IDF should "remain in the area three months after the evacuation in case of fire from the PA-controlled area. The disengagement here will take place only after the evacuation in Gaza, and it will not be under fire." He asserted that there is a sharp increase in arms smuggling into Judea and Samaria.

The general's comments were the most sharply-worded warning to the Sharon government that the price of evacuation will be terror. Most military officers have issued similar warnings but in a milder tone.

During the tour of the area, committee member Ran Cohen (Meretz/Yahad) said that the community of Mevo Dotan also should be dismantled. Labor MK Avraham Shochat said that the community is on the chopping block in the future. The Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and Gaza (Yesha), thanked Shochat for revealing information which "the Prime Minister is hiding."