Representatives of Gush Katif settlements expressed ‘cautious optimism’ Tuesday after meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

The representatives’ decision to meet Sharon was described as a step that threatens to split the anti-pullout movement.


The meeting was best described by the head of council of the Gan-Or settlement, Aharon Hazut, who said ‘I am not disappointed nor pleased,’

Gush Katif settlers considering entire relocation to Nitzanim, near Ashdod

Representatives of the Gush Katif settlements will meet Tuesday with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to discuss a proposal to relocate Gaza settlements in their entirety to the Nitzanim, located between Ashdod and Ashkelon.

‘if Sharon’s plan is put into practice, the Gush residents must move as a single entity to the Nitzanim area.’ Gaza Coast Regional Council said on Monday.

The plan was secretly prepared by some of Sharon’s close aides, despite cabinet and state planning agencies objections.


The plan calls for establishing four new communities over 4,000 dunams, with enough housing for all 1,700 families in Gush Katif who wish to move there.

The plan has been presented as an independent initiative, but Israeli Prime minister office has been pressing for its approval.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the Gaza settler representatives intend to ask Sharon to approve the plan.

‘If Gush Katif is transferred to Nitzanim, two police vehicles will suffice to remove all those who refuse to be evacuated,’ said one Gush Katif settler.

But some Israeli planning officials believe that strong opposition from green organizations and residents of the Ashkelon area would diminish the chances to implement the plan even if Sharon stands behind it. 

The idea of transferring Gush Katif to Nitzanim was first raised by Gush Katif residents in a petition to the High Court of Justice about two months ago.