In an interview with Israel Radio, Israeli infra-structure minister Benjamin Ben Eliazer (Labor) called Saturday for starting the pullout two weeks ahead of the originally set date.

Eland strongly objects pullout delay

Israeli National Security head Gioar Eland strongly objects the proposed three weeks pullout delay, saying it would lead to more delays and introduce more complications.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is leaning towards accepting the proposed delay after Defense minister Shaul Mofaz has agreed to it.

Eland warned that the proposed delay would lead to further delays due to the series of Jewish Holidays that starts in September.

Eland presented his objections in a Friday meeting at Mofaz’s office in the presence of the heads of Israeli security branches.

Eland explained that the purpose of starting the pullout on August 15, was to end the pullout before the start of the new school year and the Jewish Holidays.

‘If the pullout is pushed into Jewish Holydays, army will be force to halt the operation during Rosh Heshana and Yum Kibur’ he said. 

Mofaz agrees to proposed pullout delay

Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz on Thursday agreed to a proposed three-week delay in the pullout originally set for July 20th, Israeli security officials said.

After being approved by the special ministerial committee, the pullout from most of the Gaza Strip and the evacuation of four isolated West bank settlement will start on August 15.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has said that he would make the final decision regarding the start of the pullout after consulting with security officials.

3 weeks delay to pullout is very likely

An Israeli ministerial committee deferred Tuesday a decision on postponing the evacuation of settlers from the Gaza Strip and the northern West Bank due to lack of coordination with army.

The decision will probably be made after Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon discusses the matter with defense ministry officials.

An Israeli ministerial committee is expected to approve Tuesday the postponement of the starting date for evacuating Gaza settlers and those living in the four West Bank settlements slated for evacuation until August 15; three weeks later than in the original plan.

The committee will also vote on a plan to resettle some evacuees in the Nitzanim dunes between Ashdod and Ashkelon.

On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon expressed support to a proposal to postpone the evacuation until after a Jewish mourning period, in which religious Jews are prohibited from moving to new homes.

Israeli vice Premier Shimon Peres expressed surprise on the late discovery of the religious obstacle.

‘I don’t understand how this was discovered only now, if it is indeed a matter of Jewish law.’ Peres said.

The postponement would add to the difficulties the army is facing in preparing for the disengagement. Army officers said Monday they only heard about the postponement through media sources. 

Reservists have already received call up orders that would have to be reissued.

On the other side, settlers are divided over the postponement proposal.

‘The postponement doesn’t make any difference. In fact, the date commemorating the destruction of the Temples] actually suits us,’ one Gush Katif activist said.

‘The date fits Sharon’s decrees of destruction and expulsion,’ MK Binyamin Elon of the National Union said.

Other Gush Katif settlers saw the postponement as the “first crack in the wall”

‘The most important thing for us is that the sacred date of July 20 has been broken,’ Shlomo Vassertil, a Gaza settler said.