As if to enforce the growing feeling that the Sharon government is really a Peres government, Deputy Defense Minister Dalia Rabin-Philosof informed the Knesset today of the latest government decree: the new outposts established by the residents of Yesha at recent murder sites are slated to be removed. She said that the government hopes to \"reach agreement\" with the residents on this matter.



Earlier last night, a familiar pattern began to emerge when Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer announced several \"relaxations\" of the closure and other measures taken against the Palestinians. Following the Dolphinarium slaughter in Tel Aviv on Friday night, in which a brainwashed young Arab blew himself up in order to kill 19 young Israelis and a tourist, Israel forbade the entry of Palestinian workers and banned the deliver of gas and other supplies into Gaza. Last night, only four nights later, these and other restrictions were partially or fully removed.



The Yesha Council demands that the Defense Minister show that his \"heart is not hardened in light of the baby\'s plight [see below]\" and immediately rescind the relaxations. \"The so-called cease-fire is fictitious,\" stated one Council member, asking if there is any difference between fatal attacks perpetrated with rocks and those perpetrated with guns or by suicide bombers. The Hevron Jewish Community called on Prime Minister Sharon to

\"immediately dismantle the national unity government, and fire the Defense and Foreign Ministers who are leading the State of Israel to the brink of disaster. Shimon Peres has wrapped Ariel Sharon around his little finger, and is running the country. He prevented any Israeli reaction to Friday\'s massacre in Tel Aviv. As long as he is a minister in the Sharon government, Oslo will continue and the State of Israel is in jeopardy.\"



As if the above wasn\'t enough, Prime Minister Sharon has essentially agreed to a settlement freeze in Yesha. This was the conclusion of some Yesha Council members who met with him last night. Sharon refused to approve a series of requests they submitted to him regarding construction, bypass road pavings, and security aid to the towns. The Council members told Sharon that the Defense Minister has not approved even one building plan since he assumed his position two months ago. After the meeting, some of the Council members said that Sharon was toying with them, while others said that he is under great stress.



Yesha Council head Benny Kashriel, one of the four members who met with Sharon last night, refused to divulge any details of the meeting, and took a more moderate approach to the situation: \"I don\'t think that Sharon is turning his back on Yesha, as some others might have said. I rather think that his policy of trying to score points with the Americans and the Europeans is mistaken. These points will not help us; what he needs to do now is to save lives.\" He said that despite the government intentions, \"We have always built in Yesha, we continue to build, and we will build - period. Almost all of Judea and Samaria was built out of struggles with the government, unfortunately; it is strange that our own government, and especially this one, should fight against settling the Land of Israel, but if that\'s how it is then that\'s how we\'ll do it.\"