U.S. White House Spokesperson described Thursday Sharon’s explicit talk to Youdot Ahranot newspaper, in which he explicitly dismissed the road map peace plan, as not reflecting the real stand of the Israeli Prime minister!
In the past few weeks, Sharon was vocal and loud on pushing aside the road map and presenting unilateral disengagement as the only standing for implementation plan.
In addition to demanding his ministers to refrain from talking about the road map or allow for it to be discussed in any official meeting with other countries representatives, Sharon repeatedly dismissed any link between disengagement and the road map.
Officially, Israel did not approve the road map. When Sharon brought the plan for the cabinet and Knesset voting, he conditioned the acceptance of the Quartet sponsored plan with 14 conditions, each of which is enough to crack down the basis of the road map.
Even as the U.S. administration saw in Sharon ‘s disengagement an opportunity to move ahead with the stalled road map plan, Sharon apparently envisioned disengagement as a vehicle to escape the Israeli obligations stated in the road map.
In principle, the road map left final status issues to be decided in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, requesting both sides to implement a series of measures in order to pave the way for the creation of a Palestinian viable state along side Israel; U.S. President George Bush vision.
Yet, Sharon was only welling to go ahead with preparations for unilateral disengagement after receiving American assurances that contradicts the spirit and ground rules of the road map plan.
Assuring the backing of the main road map broker to holding to parts of the West bank, and to the complete dismissal of Palestinian refugees right to return to areas inside Israel, stand in contradiction to the principle of a negotiated final status settlement.
As well, dragging the Americans to become his partner in marking the routes of the West Bank separation wall, assured Sharon that the practical demarcation of future borders are done with the cooperation and approval of the Road map shepherd.
It is hard to imagine that while Israel is still holding to the 14 Israeli conditions concerning the road map, and with the Israeli-American agreements, which contradicts the bases upon which the road map was based, it will be possible to integrate unilateral disengagement with the road map.
While unilateral disengagement with all of its components, including the evacuation of Gaza strip settlements, redeployment of Israeli troops to the borders of the Palestinians strip, the removal of four small West Bank settlements, the expansion of the West Bank major settlement blocks, and the demarcation of future borders through the construction of the West bank separation wall, are being in part planned and on the other part processed, the road map has already degraded if not already graved.