04 May 2004 HEADLINES FROM THE HEBREW PRESS HAARETZ 1. SHARONS PLAN: REDUCED DISENGAGEMENT COORDINATED WITH MEMBERS. US: We will continue attempts to promote the disengagement. Shinui: We will quit government if there is no diplomatic process. Likud MKs led by Landau moving to restrain PM. Senior Likud officials: Fear of split, if Sharon doesnt consult. Peres: Results of referendum are severe, need new elections. Palestinians call on Israel to return to negotiations. Today in New York: Quartet representatives to discuss disengagement. 2. Development towns: Shattering the conception. INSTEAD OF ARGUING, RESIDENTS OF DEVELOPMENT TOWNS EMBRACED SETTLERS. 3. ABU DIS SETTLEMENT COMPLETES JEWISH CONTIGUITY IN EASTERN JERUSALEM. 4. BANK OF ISRAEL REPORT: ONLY WELL-ESTABLISHED STRATA BENEFITTING FROM GROWTH IN ECONOMY. HATZOFEH 1. After stinging failure in Likud referendum, Sharon beginning to formulate new plan. THE PLAN: MINI-DISENGAGEMENT. PM tells Likud Knesset fmeeting: I will formulate alternative plan. There will be no diplomatic stalemate. According to new plan, only five communities will be evacuated, three in Gaza Strip and two in northern Samaria. Knesset rejects no-confidence motions at start of summer session. Final count: 59.5% voted against plan. 2. CHANNEL 2: POSSIBILITY OF BREAKTHROUGH IN RON ARAD AFFAIR. According to report, terrorist Samir Kuntar will be released in second stage of captives exchange deal. 3. IDF DESTROYS HOUSES USED IN ATTACK ON KISUFIM ROUTE.
MAARIV 1. NEW INFORMATION ON RON ARAD BEING CHECKED. Source close to negotiations: In recent days information related to fate of captive navigator has been passed on to Israel. If information is correct, series of Palestinian prisoners will be released from prison. 2. SHARONS CONFIDANTS: BIBI BETRAYED US. Sharon furious at Netanyahu but has decided not to close account with him. YEDIOT AHRONOT 1. Yediot Ahronot and Mina Tzemach/Dahaf survey: Most of public wants disengagement. SHAONS PLAN: MINI-DISENGAGEMENT. Sharons confidants: Netzarim, Kfar Darom and Morag will be evacuated – and not all of Gaza; in Samaria, Ganim, Kadim and Homesh. PMs Bureau denies intention to dismiss Netanyahu. Labor demanding elections now. 2. VISA TO US? NOT FOR DISCHARGED SOLDIERS. Embassy: There is no sweeping directive. ______________________________ SUMMARY OF EDITORIALS FROM THE HEBREW PRESS Both papers comment on various issues related to the recent Likud referendum: Hatzofeh believes that, The question now on the agenda is whether Sharon will honor the results of the vote or openly stand against the majority in the Likud and try to lead a move in complete contravention of the opinion of its members. Yediot Ahronot notes that neither Prime Minister Ariel Sharon himself nor anyone else is seriously considering the possibility that he might resign in the wake of the results of the Likud referendum and says that, In Israel today, a leader may – with his own hands – commit an unprecedented act of political-diplomatic hari-kiri, without committing, hari-kiri on the rest of his term in office. Yediot Ahronot, in its second editorial, complains that, Instead of holding a detailed autopsy in how a winning plan became – within two weeks – a corpse, the guessing games are concentrating either on spin or the next rabbit out of the hat, and asserts that, Sharons greatest challenge now is to change the rules of the game and create a reality in which he will lead instead of being led, to create a new agenda and prove that he controls it. Yediot Ahronot, in its third editorial, believes that, The anomalous feeling that a small minority can dictate to the Likud and the Prime Minister – and, in effect, to an entire country – the inability to advance diplomatic solutions is creating a broad public understanding that the Israeli political structure no longer fits with reality. The editors aver that, After the current political stew has burned the pot, room for new and unexpected political groupings is reopening, and suggest that, The unification of forces that agree on the land for peace formula into a large political alignment will force those who champion dont uproot that which has been planted to find a new political home for themselves. BPI.