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NSC Chief: Govt is Unprepared for Disengagement

Gen. Giora Eiland, head of the National Security Council, wrote a classified letter to government ministry directors, warning of the need to "re-evaluate" the disengagement plans.

First Publish: 6/7/2005, 2:11 PM / Last Update: 6/7/2005, 5:04 PM

The letter was written ten days ago, and was publicized today on Israel Radio. It states,
"Less than three months before the disengagement, the situation is vague (to say the least) regarding the level of preparation for the disengagement process...

"A time-out must be called for two purposes:
1. It is not clear, at least to me, what the situation is. What are the real problems, and which are 'image' problems created by media spins...
2. What should be done on the policy level: How much and how long should the negotiations with the residents be protracted? Do we have incentives, positive or negative, to close the deal? What are the chief bureaucratic (and legal...) stoppers that are preventing problems from being solved? What is needed in order to "explain" the government's actions?"

Acknowledging that the general impression of bedlam is weakening the government and strengthening those who oppose the plan, Gen. Eiland [pictured above] wrote that he has asked the Director-General of the Prime Minister's Bureau to urgently convene a small forum to evaluate the situation.

Several national camp MKs responded to the news of the letter, as follows:

MK Yitzchak Levy (Religious Zionism Renewal), who has proposed a law postponing the disengagement for a half-year: "Eiland's letter pointing out faulty government preparation regarding what to do with the residents after the evacuation, and the forecasts by top military leaders about the eruption of a wave of terrorism, mean that the plan must be postponed in order to be re-evaluated, and in order to prepare properly from a security and societal standpoint."

MK Uri Ariel (National Union): "Eiland's letter proves once again that Prime Minister Sharon is engaged in a mad rush towards an insane goal, with no logic and no thought. Sharon's plan justifies all means, and tramples all principles of proper
government along the way."

MK Zevulun Orlev (National Religious Party), who has also proposed a bill for the delay of the disengagement: "It is now clear that the government did not prepare at all in the civilian sector, and that there are no proper solutions for the residents of Gush Katif. In addition, the Kassam rockets prove that the disengagement will increase terrorism. The Eiland letter shows that chaos rules. The government must stop being opaque and hard-hearted, stop its games of prestige, and admit that it has no solutions."