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Last Updated: Friday, 28 May, 2004, 11:28 GMT 12:28 UK
Sharon 'revives full Gaza plan'
West Bank settlement
Sharon argues some settlements must be sacrificed
Ariel Sharon is set to put his full plan for quitting Gaza to a cabinet vote on Sunday amid doubts over support among ministers, Israeli sources say.

He decided to scrap a revision of the plan after making little progress in talks with undecided ministers, the Haaretz newspaper and others said.

The Cabinet is scheduled to receive the full text of the Sharon plan on Friday.

Opposition to the withdrawal is being led by the influential finance minister and former premier, Binyamin Netanyahu.

Haaretz reported earlier this week that Mr Sharon had the support of 11 ministers, meaning he would need the backing of at least one more ahead of the weekly meeting of the 23-strong Cabinet.

Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom and Education Minister Limor Livnat are among those ministers said to be undecided.

According to Reuters news agency, the draft being circulated on Friday does contain one important amendment: the evacuated settlements will be razed and not handed over to international mediators.

An apparent suicide attack on an Israeli convoy between the Gaza Strip and the Egyptian border has left the bomber dead and two Israeli soldiers lightly injured.

'No deal'

The original disengagement plan was rejected by 60% of members of Mr Sharon's Likud party at the beginning of May although opinion polls regularly show 60% of Israelis back the plan.

It proposed a unilateral military withdrawal and the dismantling of all Israeli settlements in Gaza.

Israeli newspaper reports on Thursday spoke of a revised plan envisaging a staged military withdrawal from Gaza.

By breaking the process up into stages Israel could proceed with or halt disengagement, according to the situation on the ground, correspondents said.

However, according to Haaretz, "on Thursday Sharon pulled the draft proposal when he realised he had no majority for even the most watered-down version of his initiative".

"They [the ministers] refused to compromise so we are returning to the full plan," one unnamed Israeli official was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency.

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