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Jewish Settlers Warn of Violence if Gaza Pullout Goes Forward

Angry Jewish settlers who will soon be evicted from their homes in the Gaza Strip say they will take their fight to the streets, warning of massive protests and possible violence.

The settlers lost their political battle on Monday, when Israel's parliament voted down a proposal to hold a national referendum on Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's pullout plan.

Some settler leaders say they will try to refrain from violence, but that the situation could spin out of control. They also have promised to mobilize tens of thousands of protesters to disrupt the withdrawal.

The settlers have until the last week of July to accept compensation and leave voluntarily or else they will be evicted.

Tuesday, the disengagement plan will likely clear its final hurdle, when parliament is expected to pass the 2005 state budget. In the unlikely event that the budget is not passed, Mr. Sharon's government would fall and there would be snap elections.

Some information for this story provided AP and AFP.