The results of upcoming Palestinian legislative elections will not affect Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan, Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said Tuesday.
Political Sources: Pullout to go ahead in any event
Israeli political sources said government will perform the disengagement plan regardless of the election results in the Gaza Strip, since the move is unilateral, Israel Radio reported Tuesday.
These comments came following Israeli foreign minister Silvan shalom call forÃ‚Â Palestinian to ban the participation of Hamas in the upcoming Palestinian legislative elections.
Shalom linked Hamas winning in the upcoming Parliamentarian elections to Israel’s reconsideration of the intended withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“If elections are held on july 17, Hamas will win; under such circumstances, Israel should reconsider the implementation of the disengagement plan.Ã¢â‚¬Â Shalom said.
Shalom comments came during a meeting in west Jerusalem that was also attended by Palestinian Interior minister Naser Yousif.
Shalom explained that it was illogical for Israel to advance the disengagement and hand over the Gaza Strip and the northern part of the West bank to Hamas.
IsraelÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s foreign minister criticized the Palestinian Authority plan to integrate Hamas in the Palestinian political system, saying that armed groups have no place in democratic societies.
From his side, Yousif said that the participation of Hamas in elections was a necessity and a remarkable achievement, adding that the PA was working to achieve a society free of weapons, except of those held by security forces.
Yousif reminded Shalom that elections are taking place on the bases of both the Oslo agreement and the road map peace plan.
Yousif also criticized Israel for failing to implement the understandings reached in the SharmÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s summit three months ago.
Despite the fact that Fatah won the majority of seats in the second round of Palestinian local elections, Hamas registered remarkable progress, especially in the most densly populated Palestinian localities.