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Gaza pullout warning

Last updated: 2005-08-10

Benjamin Netanyahu

Benjamin Netanyahu

Former Israeli Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is urging parliament to scrap next week's evacuation of the Gaza Strip, saying the territory will become a Palestinian terrorist base after the pullout is completed.

Mr Netanyahu told lawmakers they remained the only ones capable of stopping the withdrawal, which he referred to as "this evil."

On Sunday Mr Netanyahu quit the government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, to protest the disengagement. He joined the fragile ruling coalition late last year as a tentative backer of the plan.

Wednesday's address coincided with new polls showing Mr Netanyahu would win a contest with Mr. Sharon to head the right-wing Likud party, if polls were held today.

For his part, Mr Sharon noted his rival's shift to oppose the withdrawal he once supported, and called the resignation an "evasion" of responsibility.

Story supplied by: VOAnews