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      Mofaz Doesn't Rule Out Post-Withdrawal Terrorism

      A guest of the Knesset Foreign Affairs/Defense Committee on Monday, the Defense Minister did not negate the wave of terrorism that outgoing Chief of Staff Yaalon is sure will come.
      First Publish: 6/7/2005, 10:33 AM / Last Update: 6/7/2005, 10:02 AM

      Minister Sha'ul Mofaz was asked, as he left the committee session, what he thinks about recently-departed IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon's evaluation that a wave of terrorism directed against central Israel will follow an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza. Mofaz said only that he does not negate any possibility.

      Yaalon said last week that in his estimation, if the Arabs of the Palestinian Authority feel that Israel does not plan to continue withdrawing from Yesha, they will begin a war of terrorism that includes "rockets, suicide terrorists, mass attacks, and the like." Yaalon said that the Arabs will actually maintain quiet in the places from which Israel withdrew, but not elsewhere: "You're out of Gaza? There'll be quiet [there]. You'll leave Judea and Samaria? There'll be quiet [there]. And if you leave Tel Aviv, then there will be quiet altogether!"

      "Even after four and a half years of war against Palestinian terrorism," Yaalon told Haaretz, "we have not succeeded in convincing even Fatah to recognize a Jewish state that will exist here forever. We did not succeed in persuading them to give up their dreams of return [of Arab refugees]. The only thing we succeeded in convincing them is that at this point in time, terrorism is not worthwhile for them."

      Speaking at the committee session, Minister Mofaz called on parents living in Gush Katif and northern Shomron to remove their children from the area before the soldiers come to take them out forcibly. He said this would save them from experiencing the trauma of the evacuation.

      Residents of Gush Katif scorned Mofaz's sudden concern for their children. One resident, Rina Ackerman of N'vei Dekalim, told Israel Radio, "He wasn't concerned about my children's psychological-emotional states when thousands of mortars showered down on us and he instructed the army not to act - so now he's
      concerned?"

      Ackerman also noted, IMRA reports, that studies of the consequences of the Yamit evacuation found that the children who were separated from their parents prior to the evacuation suffered considerable trauma as a result.

      Mofaz's call for the parents to remove their children before the expulsion is a departure from previous government policy, which banked on most of the families leaving of their own volition well before the scheduled date of evacuation. At present, it appears that only a tiny minority of families will leave on their own.