Document Type



Presented at the Inaugural International Conference of the Center for Macro Projects and Diplomacy at Roger Williams University on April 15/16 of 2004, and included in volume Three: Diplomatic Briefing Papers of the Working Papers series.


On Feb. 9, 2004, Israeli Infrastructure Minister Yosef Paritzsky suggested that the 7,500 Israeli settlers who are to be removed from the Gaza Strip under Prime Minister Sharon’s disengagement plan could be housed in the 13,000 empty apartments available in the Negev Desert. The Negev “Desert Cities” plan isn’t a perfect option, but it will allow the settlers to move into high-quality housing rapidly. While at least some settlers will almost certainly have to live in existing apartment housing during the construction of the Negev settlements, this plan offers the best chance of ensuring that the apartment housing will be only a temporary solution.