Sharon seeks to transfer Gaza colonists to West Bank

Here's an indication of why I did not get too excited about Sharon's announcement to evacuate the settlers from the Gaza Strip:
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon wants U.S. approval to expand large West Bank settlement blocs that are intended to be annexed once a permanent peace agreement is reached in exchange for evacuation of most settlements in the Gaza Strip and a few others in the West Bank.

Sharon will justify the request due to the need to move some of the settlers from the evacuated areas to Ma'aleh Adumim, Ariel and Gush Etzion. The prime minister is to present his plan to the Americans during an upcoming visit to Washington.

The road map, to which the U.S. and international community remain committed, calls for a freeze in the construction of all settlements regardless of whether they are isolated or part of a larger bloc.

Government sources in Jerusalem said receiving U.S. permission to strengthen the settlement blocs is one alternative being examined by National Security Council (NSC) Chairman Giora Eiland. Another option is formally annexing the settlement blocs, which would lead to Israeli law being imposed on them.

The sources said the previous U.S. administration had agreed that Ma'ale Adumim, Ariel and Gush Etzion would be included within Israel as part of the Clinton framework for a permanent agreement.
Hmm... what happened to "negotiations" with the Palestinians? The last time I checked, the Clinton administration was not "the Palestinians".

Sharon's announcement is simply a tactical retreat: giving up on most (not even all) of the Gaza Strip in exchange for strengthening Israel's hold on the West Bank. A true "man of peace". Sharon will never change, and anyone who is waiting for some kind of rejection on his part of the project around which he has built is life is just not so bright.

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