The prime minister told the gathering that he is determined to carry out the Disengagement Plan in seven weeks' time, regardless of any opposition. Prime Minister Sharon explained that the implementation of the plan to evacuate Jews from Gush Katif and northern Samaria will allow the resumption of negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.
A bill sponsored by National Religious Party MK Zevulun Orlev seeking to postpone the implementation of the Disengagement Plan by a year will be voted upon in Knesset on Wednesday of next week. MK Orlev is hoping Finance Minister Netanyahu will support the bill, realizing such a bold move by a senior minister may lead to a breakdown of the cabinet, or at the very least, send shockwaves through the Prime Minister's Office. At present, it appears most unlikely that the bill will muster a majority vote, but it will permit cabinet ministers who continue to express their opposition for the plan to vote their conscience and improve their standing among anti-Disengagement voters.