Neville Chamberlain, call your office: it seems the Sudetenland won’t be enough. From AFP, with thanks to Sr. Soph:
GAZA CITY (AFP) – Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas urged Israel to stop all its settlement activity in the West Bank if it was serious about peace as the evacuation of settlers from Gaza was put on hold for the Jewish sabbath.
Having presided over the first ever withdrawal from occupied Palestinian territory, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon made clear earlier this week that he would “continue and develop” Jewish settlements in the West Bank….
Hailing the withdrawal from Gaza as a “first step”, Abbas confirmed that his Palestinian Authority would take control over all vacated land and planned to build 3,000 new homes on one of the settlements, Morag.
But he added it was vital that Israel pulls out of all areas reoccupied since the start of the Palestinian uprising in September 2000 in the West Bank. “Those who continue with these measures show they do not want peace.” While Abbas, a frequent critic of the armed uprising, is seen as the moderate voice among Palestinians, he is facing a severe test of his popularity from the hardliners of Hamas who are portraying the Israeli departure from Gaza as a “victory for the resistance.”…
Just as the Palestinian leader was delivering his speech in Gaza City, militants of the armed wing of Hamas, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, were delivering their own verdict on the implications of the pullout. In a statement handed to reporters, they reiterated that they would not disarm after the pullout from Hamas’s Gaza stronghold or end their campaign against Israel “until the defeat of the occupation from all our land.”