Referendum proposed in Israel over Gaza withdrawal Amit Patel at 3:07 PM ET
Former Israeli Prime Minister and now Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the main rival of current Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in Israel's ruling Likud party, Monday proposed a national referendum on the proposed withdrawal of Jewish settlements from the Gaza Strip. Netanyahu believes that a referendum will "heal rifts in an increasingly divided nation." Sharon opposes the idea even though a majority of Israelis support the withdrawal because it could take months to prepare legislation for a referendum. Critics charge Netanyahu with attempting to postpone withdrawal with an eye toward new elections and a new government. Read more about Sharon's Gaza withdrawal plan here. Review the terms of the current Road Map to Middle East peace that calls upon Israel to freeze all existing settlements and dismantle outposts created since March 2001. The Jerusalem Post has more.
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