Israeli vice Premier Shimon Peres said Tuesday he is going to Washington to seek U.S. financial aid for Israel’s intended withdrawal from inside the Gaza Strip and four small West Bank settlements.
According to Israel radio, Peres will meet U.S Vice President Dick Cheney and other administration officials.
Peres also said the money would also be used to encourage settlers to relocate to the Galilee and Negev Desert.
‘The essence of the issue is to coordinate the financial aspect of the Gaza withdrawal. We will discuss the distribution of resources … and to see what can be done to get U.S. assistance for the development of the Negev and the Galilee.’ Peres said.
Even as Peres sets the Israeli request in the context of developing the Galilee and the Negev, U.S. assistance would allow Israel to free up resources and offer more compensation to slate for evacuation settlers.
A U.S. official estimated Sunday that Israel would request US$500 million in aid.
Israel has allocated a budgeted of about US$1 billion for the implementation of the disengagement plan.