Israel supports demolition of settlers’ homes following the evacuation of Gaza Strip settlements, urging the Palestinian Authority to convert the land into housing quarters for refugees.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will present details of the plan, which was proposed by Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at their meeting in Jerusalem on Sunday. On Tuesday the plan will be presented to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Official Israeli sources said Saturday that the PA agreed to a plan by which Israel would pay the PA or an international body to demolish the houses and evacuate the debris.
According to the proposed plan, donor states and the World Bank would allocate funding to entrepreneurs to turn the settlement areas into housing quarters for refugees, enabling the PA to provide thousands of workplaces and reduce unemployment in the Gaza Strip by some degree.
PA officials have made it clear that the settlers’ villas are not suitable for their needs, demanding tearing them down to allow for building high rise towers to help solve the chronic housing problem in the overcrowded Palestinian Strip.