Israeli sources reported, on Monday, that the Israeli army is preparing a plan to foil any attempt to fire at settlers and soldiers during disengagement, if the Palestinian Authority does not control the situation during disengagement.

The plan involves using gunboats and air force gun-ships if the P.A is unable to bar the resistance from firing at the army and settlers during the evacuation process.     

The Israeli radio reported on Monday morning, that the Israeli Defence Minister, Shaul Mofaz, submitted this plan to Sharon on Sunday during a meeting held at Sharon’s office. 

Also, the Israeli radio reported that Sharon said that he issued his orders to the military to “strike hard” against any operations carried out by the Palestinian resistance; Sharon was referring to the killing of two settlers near Kissufim in the Gaza Strip on Sunday at dawn. 

Sharon said that he told the US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, that the Israeli retaliation to such attacks will be different, using more harsh means. 

Sharon did not elaborate on his “harsh measures” but said that it will be “an unprecedented strike, using new procedures and methods”, if the resistance continues its attacks during and after the Israeli pullout which will start on August 17, 2005.

According to a senior Israeli military source, 55 thousand troops will participate in the evacuation process; the military establishment predicts that 70% of the settlers will leave before the evacuation starts.

“The Palestinians will control the settlements October 3, 2005”, the source added.