Israel won't delay Gaza pullout

Gaza pullout bill was rejected Wednesday marking there is no will that can bring stability in the region. Israel's parliament on Wednesday overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to delay the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip by a year.

The vote meant another defeat for withdrawal opponents, who in recent days launched large-scale protests against the pullout, set to begin in mid-August. The vote also meant that withdrawal opponents have exhausted their political options.

According to The Jerusalem Post, the pullout postponement bill proposed by National Religious Party chairman Zevulun Orlev had no chance of passing when it came to a vote in the Knesset.

As The Washington Post states, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is boldly determined to move forward with disengagement from Gaza and the northern West Bank out of a deep conviction that it is critical to Israel's future. But the Palestinian leadership has failed to meet him halfway, notices the newspaper.

Meanwhile, gunmen from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction and Hamas militants exchanged fire on Wednesday despite an agreement to end the worst domestic violence in years, reports Reuters.

A standoff also continued outside the Gaza Strip between police and protesters who have camped out there, vowing to defy a ban and march on the main settlement bloc of Gush Katif in order to hamper the withdrawal, adds Reuters.

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