‘No looting after Israel pulls out’
JERUSALEM: The Palestinian Authority is working on a security plan to prevent the looting or destruction of Jewish settlements in Gaza after Israel quits the occupied territory, a Palestinian cabinet minister said on Sunday.
“The people are emotional and view the settlements as sites that have caused the suffering and death of many Palestinians,” Civil Affairs Minister Mohammad Dahlan told Reuters.
“Revenge acts against the settlers’ buildings are expected but we will make sure the people understand the importance of keeping them intact,” he said.
Israel is to evacuate all 21 settlements in the Gaza Strip and four of 120 in the West Bank this year under Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s plan to “disengage” from conflict with the Palestinians.
Sharon has said he expects that once settlers and soldiers who guard them leave, Palestinian residents of the impoverished Gaza Strip will rush to settlement villas Israel intends to leave intact and strip them bare of windows, tiles and pipes.
Palestinian officials said they want to avoid the kind of wide-scale looting that erupted in Iraq after the US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003. “We will not allow any side to control the assets of the Palestinian people,” said Dahlan, who is also in charge of coordinating the withdrawal with Israel. reuters