Israeli's Minister of Agriculture, Ariel Sharon, who is responsible for settlements and Occupied Territories, has appealed to residents in the Sinai not to abandon their homes until alternative arrangements can be made.
Israeli's Minister of Agriculture, Ariel Sharon, who is responsible for settlements and Occupied Territories, has appealed to residents in the Sinai not to abandon their homes until alternative arrangements can be made. He said final plans for their relocation would not be drawn up until a peace Treaty with Egypt had been signed.
SYNOPSIS: The settlements are a major issue. Israel has promised that no new settlements will be created in occupied Territories while negotiations continue. But they recognise no restriction on consolidation of existing settlements like this one in the West Bank called Karneii Shomron.
On Tuesday (2 January) Ariel Sharon visited Karneii Shamron as part of a tour of West Bank settlements. There has been no final agreement between Egypt and israel concerning the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip. However, some of the Sinai has already been handed back to Egypt. The Settlement Department of the jewish Agency has said three ???reas of Israel's Southern Negev would be set aside for israelis forced out of Sinai. Some residents of Sinai have already said they plan to move.
One of the threats to the Israeli promise of no new settlements has come from an unexpected source. The Gush Emunim - known as the Faithful Followers - say that they have a divine right to settle in any part of the Promised Land of the Bible. They have been trying to establish new settlements in the West Bank, fearing that a Peace Treaty with Egypt would deny them access to the area. Key roads in the West Bank have been roadblocked by troops and the would-be settlers have been told that if they do not desist they will be forcibly removed. Most have complained. Both israel and Egypt have said they are ready to resume negotiations.