Today I must commend him for the statemanship that he is now demonstrating to advance the process toward peace. Here's a news brief about the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza:
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon today said images of Gaza settlers being removed from their homes were "heart-breaking".
He praised the restraint of both settlers and soldiers.
"It's impossible to watch this, and that includes myself, without tears in the eyes," he said.
Sharon appealed to pullout opponents to avoid physical and verbal confrontation with the security forces. "Attack me -- I am responsible for this. Attack me, accuse me, don't attack the men and women in uniform," he said.
Israeli President Moshe Katsav, who sat next to Sharon, cut in to correct the prime minister's choice of words. "You mean criticise, not attack," Katsav admonished. Sharon did not respond.
Israeli security forces have warned that Sharon, like his murdered predecessor Yitzhak Rabin, could be targeted by extremists.
Sharon defended his decision to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and part of the West Bank, saying he did it for the good of Israel.
"I believe with all these difficulties, Israel will come out stronger," he said.