At least 12 Israeli ministers expressed objection to demolishing settlers houses after the intended pullout from the Gaza Strip and four West Bank settlements, Israeli media sources reported.

Yedioth Ahronot, an Israeli newspaper held a poll via phone asking the ministers whether they support the Government’s decision to keep the settlers houses intact after the pullout, to which 12 said yes, and 8 said they would rather have the houses destroyed.  The 8 ministers are from Likud.

The 8 Labor and 4 Likud Ministers object the demolition. Yedioth Ahronot said Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, is still undetermined about this issue.

On his part, Israeli deputy Prime Minister, Shimon Peres who objects the demolition said, ‘There is no reason that TV stations would be broadcasting Israeli bulldozers demolishing houses.’

The demolition of the houses would cost around NIS 200 M (USD 45 M) and removing the rubble would take between 8 to 10 months.

Some Palestinian officials prefer the demolition of the houses as they way they are built does not fit the Palestinian housing system, taking into consideration that the vast majority in the Gaza Strip live in a very crowded areas.

Building new housing projects will be towers, not villas to be able to accommodate new inhabitance from crowded areas.

Palestinian Negotiations Affairs Minister Sa’eb Ereikat said last week that Israel has to demolish the houses and remove the rubble.

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