Implementation of the Disengagement Plan
Over the past two months, there have been intensive negotiations between the IDF and the Palestinian Authority (PA), which started with meetings between defense ministers Shaul Mofaz and Nasser Yusef and worked their way down to the level of battalion commanders and field officers.
Joint control centers of the IDF and PA Security Forces at Erez and Rafah are currently operating. The Palestinian deployment of forces throughout the Gasa Strip that began on Sunday was the result of negotiations on Sunday between battalion commanders. 24 battalions of Palestinian Security Forces have been deployed, which is estimated at 10-11,000 men. The goal is to build a blocking wall of joint forces near the settlements.
The Palestinian street is not aware that the IDF does not intend to hand over control over the strip for a month and half, because it will take time to remove all of the military assets in the strip. This lack of understanding is due to inaccurate reporting and premature Palestinian celebrations. After the evacuation, the IDF will maintain a strong presence and will not allow anyone inside evacuated communities until the military evacuation has been completed.
A quiet disengagement is in the Palestinian interest, so the IDF expects the PA to maintain control over Hamas. The IDF is prepared to use force if fired upon during the evacuation but hopes it won’t be necessary.