Sharon Refuses to Hold Referendum on Gaza Withdrawal

The Knesset approved Sharon’s plan yesterday envisaging the withdrawal of Jewish settlements in Gaza and four settlements in the West Bank.

An Israeli official told the French news agency, Agency France Press (AFP), that four ministers have refused the referendum demand.

The same official, who wished to remain anonymous, said, "The Prime Minister does not want a referendum and he thinks that a referendum will cause only violence and conflict."

Sharon’s plan ends Israel’s 37-year invasion of Gaza. About 8,000 Jews live in 21 Jewish settlements on the Gaza Strip.