Protests increase as the Israeli pullout draws closer
A map of the West Bank and Gaza Strip illustrates the complexity of a solution to the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians
A feature by Igal Avidan
As the Israeli pullout from the Gaza Strip and the Northern part of the West Bank draws closer, the settlers increase their protest activities. While trying to win over support by presenting themselves as victims of a "deportation", they also campaign for a referendum, thus ignoring the clear vote of the Israeli parliament and government. Some settlers suggest to remain in the settlements and live as a Jewish minority under Palestinian rule. At the same time, Israeli and Palestinian peace activists who fear that a one-sided pullout aims to prevent a peace process try to convince both sides that they have a partner for peace. However, they make clear that the price of peace is the evacuation of most Jewish settlements from the West Bank.