Ayalon: Evacuate All Settlements Beyond the Fence by 2010

Former Shin Bet chief says Evacuation Compensation Law should apply to all settlements beyond W. Bank separation fence.

Former Shin Bet Chief Ami Ayalon, who is vying for a place on the Labor Party's Knesset list, said Tuesday that if it was up to him, no settlements outside major blocs would remain on the Palestinian side of the West Bank separation fence by 2010.

"It is unethical to build houses, knowing that they will be destroyed, and it is immoral to send soldiers to kill and be killed over land that will not be controlled by Israel," Ayalon said at a meeting held with Ben-Gurion University students in Be'er Sheva.

According to Ayalon, the Evacuation Compensation Law should apply to all settlements beyond the fence, and action must be taken immediately to destroy all illegal outposts.

More than 70 of the 124 official West Bank settlements are located east of the separation fence.

Ayalon harshly criticized Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, saying that the Kadima party would likely disappear when Sharon retires. "I just don't know if he will retire due to his age, or due to changes in Austrian law, which would allow Israeli investigators to view bank transactions. Any which way, Kadima is a passing phenomenon in Israeli politics," he said.