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APN Welcomes Disengagement; Calls on Israel, Palestinians to Take Advantage of Opportunities It Presents

APN today expressed its support for the settlement evacuation currently underway in Gaza and the northern West Bank, and urged Israel and the Palestinians to take advantage of the opportunities that this historic move offers them.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - August 16, 2005
CONTACT: Lewis Roth (202) 728-1893

Washington, D.C.-Americans for Peace Now (APN) today expressed its support for the settlement evacuation currently underway in Gaza and the northern West Bank, and urged Israel and the Palestinians to take advantage of the opportunities that this historic move offers them. APN is a Jewish, Zionist organization that works to enhance Israel's security through peace and to support the Israeli Peace Now movement.

"The removal of settlements from Gaza and the northern West Bank provides opportunities for Israel and the Palestinians to begin new chapters in their respective national histories and in their relationship with each other," said Debra DeLee, President and CEO of Americans for Peace Now. "For Israel, the pullout can mark the resumption of its quest to establish secure, internationally recognized borders, the start of serious investment in underdeveloped regions of the nation, and the reaffirmation of democratic rule of law. For the Palestinians, the evacuation offers a chance to improve the lives of over a million people, demonstrate good governance, and build the foundation for a future state. And for both sides, the path is being cleared for the return to peace negotiations.

"APN congratulates Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for showing the resolve to see this plan through in the face of stiff resistance and at considerable political cost. We urge President Mahmoud Abbas to demonstrate similar determination in dealing with violent Palestinian groups that seek to destroy this chance for progress. And we pray that both leaders, with the support of the international community, will have the wisdom and patience to work with each other to make peace a reality."