Israeli news sources said the Israeli Prime Minister
Ariel Sharon is considering a request by the chief of the disengagement
administration, in the weekly cabinet session, to postpone the
evacuation of settlers’ homes by three weeks.

Disengagement chief, Yonatan Bassi proposed a delay of evacuation until
after the traditional mourning period for the ancient Temples ends on
the ninth of the Hebrew month of Av, the 14th of August.

Bassi brought up the issue after ‘an internal struggle and talking to
rabbis’ and explained that Jews are not allowed to move to a new home
during the mourning period the source reported.

According to Bassi’s proposal, disengagement will begin on Monday, August 15.

Sharon, who did not reject Bassi’s proposal, has previously turned down
military and governmental requests to delay the disengagement for
logistical and planning reasons, the source added.

Military officials, however, have advocated the start until the
following Monday, the 25th, as a result of the symbolism of the fast
day that falls on the 24th: the 17th of Tammuz, the beginning of the
three-week Jewish mourning period for the destruction of the First and
Second Temples.

In Jewish traditions, the 17th of Hebrew month ‘Tammuz’ marks the
Romans’ breaching of Jerusalem’s walls prior to the destruction of the
Second Temple, and a crippling Babylonian siege before the razing of
the First.