Evacuate 100,000 Settlers

Israeli Official: To Achieve Peace, Israel Must Evacuate 100,000 Settlers

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Palestinian News Network (PNN). Thursday, September 12, 2013.

Gilad Sher, former chief of staff to Ehud Barak from 1999-2001, stated that 100,000 settlers need to be evacuated if a two-state solution is to be executed in the West Bank.

“Any outline of two states for two people will involve the evacuation of settlements,” Sher said.  He explained that Israelis and Palestinians may eventually be able to build positive relationships and overcome the history between them, but that it is not feasible at the current point in time. 

Sher made the statements at a one-day conference marking the 20th anniversary of the Oslo Accords during which most of the speakers addressed the issue of the most recent Israeli-Palestinian peace process since its negotiation in July.

Sher was of several speakers who called for an interim agreement.   Israeli, he said, Still, should begin preparation for a two-state solution, by halting the expansion of settlements and instead preparing a master plan to evacuate them. 

The creation of such a plan may take three to four years, but  “We have to prepare ourselves in an organized way, on a national level, for the time when the settlers will come back home to the borders of Israel,” Sher continued.  

He estimated that this would involve the uprooting of 100,000 people, slightly less than one third of the West Bank Jewish population.

Dov Weisglass, who served as chief of staff to former prime minister Ariel Sharon seconded the view that the evacuation of 100,000 settlers is a necessary step in paving the way for peace. 

Weisglass said, should Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu come to an agreement with Palestinians, he lacks the necessary political support to turn it into a reality.

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