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Poll: Israelis Oppose Unilateral Pullouts; PM Aide Wants More

More than two-thirds of Israelis oppose further unilateral pullouts and expulsions of Jews without a final accord with the PA, according to a Maariv poll, but a Sharon aide said more are planned.

By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 10/15/2005, 9:22 PM / Last Update: 10/15/2005, 11:01 PM

The Teleseker poll for the Israeli newspaper revealed that only 28 percent of those surveyed support dismantling more Jewish communities without an agreement with the Palestinian Authority (PA) over the final status of a proposed new Arab state. More than half the respondents said they supported this summer's expulsion of Jews from the Gaza and northern Samaria regions, but 68 percent are against a repeat performance.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has said several times that the recent expulsions were the first and last unilateral withdrawals but that more communities would be destroyed as part of a mutual pact with the PA.

However, the Middle East Newsline quoted Sharon aide Eival Giladi, "Only unilateral [withdrawal] can work in this era. Israel determines where, when and how it withdraws."

It also stated that the Defense Ministry is examining options for multi-stage withdrawals in 2007 which would force up to 100,000 Jews out of their homes in Judea and Samaria after the completion of the security fence, most of which follows the 1949 Armistice lines.

The government has not responded to the report.

Giladi said last month that Israel still would be in Gaza if it were negotiating with the PA and that continuing "with the old strategy like Oslo" would end up in failure.