Sharon the Optimist

(New York Times) William Safire - Reached late Sunday night, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon says, "We have a window of opportunity, after the death of Arafat and the re-election of President Bush, to break the stalemate of negotiation and replace it with a strategy of reconciliation." However, Sharon notes that "the Palestinians have 30,000 armed security people who still find it hard to fight terrorists. Not the slightest step has been taken so far." Sharon says, "If the Palestinian Authority starts to coordinate between our security services, and if they - not Hamas, not the Jihad - take charge of the areas we are leaving, I will coordinate disengagement." "After their election, we'll see if they take the steps to stop the terror. If they do, it will be also quiet on our side." "But if we have intelligence of a terrorist attack, we'll have to act." "It would be clearly impossible to evacuate under fire. With thousands of cars and trucks relocating women, children, animals, we will tolerate no attacks during withdrawal."

2005-01-03 00:00:00

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