Rut roh. Trouble brewing.
Disengagement Chiefs Meet to Plan Specifics of Expulsion
Wednesday, March 9, 2005 / 28 Adar 5765
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon held a high-level meeting Tuesday to plan the logistics of the expulsion of the Jews of Gaza and the northern Shomron from their homes.
The meeting included Defense Minister Sha’ul Mofaz, Vice Premier Shimon Peres, Disengagement Authority head Yonatan Bassi and incoming IDF Chief of Staff Major General Dan Halutz.
PM Sharon told the group that IDF soldiers should be sent to occupy homes emptied of their residents in Gush Katif and the northern Shomron, to ensure that the buildings not be used to house new residents.
Mofaz told the group that in addition to 400-450 empty caravans (trailer homes) throughout Gaza and the northern Shomron, the IDF is concerned that the homes of people who leave voluntarily will be populated by new residents seeking to strengthen the communities. The Defense Minister rejected the idea of removing or destroying empty buildings before the actual expulsion of residents begins.
An initiative to refurbish homes in various states of disrepair and fill them with new residents was launched earlier this week and was reported exclusively by IsraelNN.com.
Logistics of the actual expulsion were discussed at the meeting as well. Yonatan Bassi, who heads the Disengagement Authority, proposed housing the expelled residents in hotels. The cost was said to be some 30-40 million shekels.
Minister Mofaz said that outside firms were being hired to pack up the contents of homes and cart them to warehouses for storage. In the evacuation from the Sinai communities in 1982, soldiers packed up the residents' belongings.
PM Sharon said the group would meet periodically in the coming months. He urged all participants to speed up their preparations for the disengagement.