Palestinian Civil Affairs Minister Mohammad Dahlan said Sunday that the Palestinian Authority will prevent the looting or destruction of Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip after the Israel pullout.
‘The people are emotional and view the settlements as sites that have caused the suffering and death of many Palestinians,’ Dahlan told Reuters.
‘Revenge acts against the settlers’ buildings are expected but we will make sure the people understand the importance of keeping them intact,’ he added.
‘We are working on a security plan to protect the settlements and the cabinet will also pass some laws to ensure a smooth handover,’ Dahlan said.
Dahlan stressed the importance that the pullout be accompanied with steps to ease the life of Palestinians and help develop economy.
‘It is very important for Palestinians to feel a dramatic change in their lives after the Israeli pullout,’ said Dahlan.
‘If Israel insists on maintaining control over border crossings and impedes the movement of goods and people, it will kill the Palestinian economy and we’ll be heading towards a disaster.’ He warned.
‘The current arrangement of moving goods by trucks by loading them back-to-back has proven to be a failure,’ he said, referring to the transfer of cargo between Israeli and Palestinian vehicles at Gaza border terminals.
‘We have suggested door-to-door, whereby a Palestinian businessman would ship his goods directly to the airport or sea port [in Israel], just like the settlers in Gaza,’ Dahlan said.
‘We need a safe passage that links Gaza and the West Bank. We reject any hint of separation. They have yet to respond to all our queries.’ Dahlan added.