Peres urges diaspora of Jews 'back Gaza pullout'

18th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 17 (AFP) - Two senior Israeli ministers called Sunday on Jews living outside Israel to back Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plans to pull Jewish settlers out of the Gaza Strip.

PARIS, April 17 (AFP) - Two senior Israeli ministers called Sunday on Jews living outside Israel to back Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plans to pull Jewish settlers out of the Gaza Strip.  

"Peace is already beginning with our withdrawal from Gaza," Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres told a meeting of 8,000 members of France's Jewish community in Paris.  

"It is our initiative and we are not going to stop it," he said, adding that Israel would be "out of Gaza" in "four months".  

He said that Israel's immediate goal was "the conquest of the Negev (desert) which is empty, the development of Galilee... and keeping Jerusalem as our capital and as a spiritual and prayer centre for the whole world.  

"With the mobilisation and participation of the Jewish world I am certain we can attain this vision and make it a reality."  

Israeli Defence Minister Shaoul Mofaz said that Jews living in Israel and throughout the world had to take "very important decisions for their future."  

He spoke after a filmed message from Sharon was shown to the audience in which the prime minister spoke of being at the "dawn of a new era full of hope" to enthusiastic applause.  

"We have to do everything we can to ensure that the state of Israel will exist until the end of time with a unified Jerusalem as its capital," Mofaz said.   But he said people had to "keep their eyes open" and "not ignore the threats that surround us".  

According to Israeli government spokesman Ari Pazner by pulling out of Gaza Sharon showed he was ready to make sacrifices. He called on the president of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas to have the courage to take on Palestininian "terrorist groups."  

Peres and Mofaz spoke at the end of a day of discussions entitled "Israel, I love you" organised by Jewish and pro-Israeli groups which seek to "bear witness to the people of Israel and their leaders of their unconditional backing in their brave and determined steps towards peace."

 

© AFP

Subject: French News

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