Sharon: Unilateral Separation Within Months
18 December 2003
Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon unveiled his much-awaited policy program Thursday, 18 December, under the heading: "A Program of Separation". It came with a warning to the Palestinians that he wont wait forever for them to come around.
The ME Road Maps significance is that peace can only be attained through security. It therefore refutes the opposite proposition that the way to security is through signed peace treaties.
Sharon more or less gave the Palestinians up to six months to root out terror and institute reforms. He pledged Israeli help for raising their living standards. And if there is good security coordination, then Israel will relinquish West Bank and Gaza Strip towns to Palestinian control.
He noted that he had promised President Bush to remove illegal outposts and announced no land would be confiscated and no new communities built in either territory.
We want the Palestinians to have a state with territorial contiguity on the West Bank, he said and added: If the Palestinians fail to meet their obligations in the space of six months and most importantly dismantle their terror infrastructure Israel will go it alone.
Under the Sharon separation plan, Israeli military forces and Jewish communities will be redeployed in accordance with national security interests. It would be understood that the new lines would not constitute Israels final borders which will be demarcated in negotiations at a later stage. The separation plan is therefore designed for security not political purposes.
But all the same the Palestinians will end up with less than they would have had they embraced all the provisions of the road map.