A Deputy Minister Denies Making a Personal Contribution to Settlers Opposed to Withdrawing from Sina

Deputy Minister of Transport David Schiffman denied today that he had made a personal contribution to the Movement to Halt the Withdrawal from Sinai in order to undermine government policy. Schiffman came under attack by fellow members of the Likud coalition in the Knesset for his visit to the Yamit region in northern Sinai yesterday.

He admitted, in an interview on the Army Radio today, that he had presented a personal check for a substantial sum to a settlement in the Yamit region but claimed his act was misinterpreted.”I support the government’s way of implementing the peace agreement with Egypt,” he said. “I also support the withdrawal from Sinai, as we are in fact doing.” He conceded, however, that during his visit to the Yamit region he had expressed hope that some arrangements could still be made to leave the Jewish settlements intact within the framework of the peace treaty with Egypt.

Schiffman is the second deputy minister to incur the wrath of Knesset members for seeking to halt the withdrawal. Most members of the Likud Knesset faction yesterday denounced Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs Chaim Druckman for his open support of the movement to halt the withdrawal.

Druckman, a member of the National Religious Party, is presently in the U.S. with a delegation of withdrawal opponents trying to convince American Jews that Israel’s security and survival would be endangered if it gives up its foothold in Sinai. The activities of Druckman and Schiffman are the subject of an agenda motion to be discussed by the Knesset.

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