Israeli officials say Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will complete his revised plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip this week and present it to his cabinet next Sunday.
Mr. Sharon has been revising the plan since his Likud party rejected the proposal in a party referendum on May second.The new plan reportedly calls for a withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and four West Bank Jewish settlements in stages instead of all at once.
At today's cabinet meeting, Israeli Justice Minister Yosef Lapid criticized the Israeli demolition of Palestinian homes in the Rafah refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, saying the images reminded him of his grandmother who was persecuted by the Nazis. Mr. Lapid's comments outraged other cabinet ministers.
More than 40 Palestinians have been killed and dozens of homes destroyed in the Israeli army operation in Rafah, which Israel says is aimed at finding tunnels used by Palestinian militants to smuggle weapons.
Meanwhile, an explosion in the West Bank city of Nablus has killed three Palestinian militants. Palestinian security sources and witnesses say the men were handling explosives stored in a vehicle when it exploded Sunday.
Israeli officials denied any involvement in the blast.