HA’ARETZ 1. DISENGAGEMENT UNDERWAY – KNESSET APROVES EVACUATION COMPENSATION LAW. Almost half of Likud fopposed law, which passed by majority of 19 due to support from Shinui and Yahad. 2. Exchange of accusations day after decision to end Chief-of-Staff’s term. MOFAZ’S CONFIDANTS REJECT CRITICISM: “YA’ALON MUST SALUTE AND OBEY.” Behind the scenes: 1) Sharon and Mofaz were concerned that Chief-of-Staff’s reservations about disengagement would hinder its implementation. 2) Relations between Ya’alon and Mofaz were cloudy; they almost didn’t talk. 3) Mofaz was outraged at Ya’alon’s decision to dismiss his confidant, Brig.-Gen. Zakai. 4) Sharon family angry over Chief-of-Staff’s refusal to promote Maj.-Gen. Kaplinski. 5) Different versions: Unclear if Ya’alon was offered six-month extension and he refused. 3. COMMITTEE APPOINTED BY CHIEF-OF-STAFF: STOP DEMOLITION OF TERRORISTS’ HOMES – DOES MORE HARM THAN GOOD. 4. MAZUZ TO ANNOUNCE TODAY: INDICTMENT AGAINST OMRI SHARON IN “FRONT COMPANY” AFFAIR. File against PM in affair will apparently be closed, his son will be charged with minor violations of political parties law. HATZOFEH 1. Smaller-than-expected majority approves racist uprooting law. ZIONISM’S BLACK DAY. 59 MKs voted in favor of law, 40 MKs opposed and five abstained. Knesset also rejected proposal to hold referendum by large majority. Yesha Council: Law not binding. 2. REASON FOR DISMISSAL OF YA’ALON: SPOKE AGAINST TRANSFER. 3. TERRORIST WHO WAS ELIMINATED EN ROUTE TO ATTACK HAD BEEN REED IN CAPTIVES DEAL WITH HEZBOLLAH. 4. SHAS REMAINING IN OPPOSITION: WILL VOTE AGAINST BUDGET. MA’ARIV 1. Knesset decides: DISENGAGING. 59-40. In historic decision, Knesset determined: Disengagement Plan underway. Netanyahu’s confidants: Will vote against in Cabinet on Sunday. Six additional communities have already begun contacts on organized evacuation from Gaza Strip. 2. Ma’ariv-TNS/Teleseker survey: SUPPORTING THE CHIEF-OF-STAFF. 75%: Ya’alon was successful Chief-of-Staff. 64%: Dismissal unjustified. Dismissal of Chief-of-Staff caused storm in entire IDF yesterday. Mofaz’s and Ya’alon’s confidants trade accusations. YEDIOT AHRONOT 1. (…). WAR OF THE GENERALS. (…). 2. 16.2.05: ISRAELI KNESSET APPROVES EVACUATION OF SETTLEMENTS. By 59-40-5 majority, Disengagement plan became law. 3. IDF INTELLIGENCE ASSESSMENT: HEZBOLLAH ELIMINATED RAFIK HARIRI. Senior IDF Intelligence officials “exonerate” Syrian President. Hezbollah signals Assad: This is fate of those who mess with us. ______________________________ SUMMARY OF EDITORIALS FROM THE HEBREW PRESS Yediot Ahronot says that the Evacuation Compensation Law that was passed by the Knesset yesterday is corrupt and is tantamount to large-scale bribery. The editors believe that the compensation being offered to Gaza Strip evacuees is out of all proportion to the value of the assets they will have to abandon and suggests that, “With the money that is being given as additional aid to the evacuees it would be possible to solve Israel’s hospitalization problem for the next decade, or cancel the cuts in social welfare payments, or join the cities on the periphery with a rapid railway, or extend budgetary assistance to the 350,000 poor families in Israel.” Hatzofeh analyzes Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz’s decision to break with long-standing custom and not extend IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Ya’ alon’s term by one year. The editors speculate that Defense Minister Mofaz would not have dared to make such a decision except at the behest of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and commend Chief-of-Staff Ya’alon’s professionalism and integrity. BPI-hu