09 June 2005
Israel's highest court has upheld the government's plan to withdraw from all of the Gaza Strip and four small West Bank settlements.
An 11-judge High Court panel ruled Thursday the pullout plan is legal and does not violate the human rights of Jewish settlers who opposed the move.
In a 10-1 vote, the justices rejected 12 petitions challenging the withdrawal planned for August. The sole dissenting justice, Edmund Levy, said the plan should be canceled.
Hours before the ruling, Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and Palestinian Authority Interior Minister Nasser Youssef agreed to closely coordinate the pullout to prevent militants from taking over vacated areas.
Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is in the Gaza Strip for talks with militants to preserve a four-month Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire threatened by two days of violence that has killed five people.