PA Spurns Israeli Gestures

(Jerusalem Post) Herb Keinon - A Palestinian delegation angrily walked out of a meeting with Prime Minister Sharon's bureau chief Dov Weisglass in Tel Aviv because Israel decided to release "only" 900 security prisoners. The Palestinians are demanding that Israel release thousands of Palestinian prisoners, including those with "blood on their hands." One senior Israeli official said the crisis was an attempt to wring more concessions from Israel before next Tuesday's summit in Sharm el-Sheikh between Sharon, Abbas, Mubarak, and Jordan's King Abdullah. Defense Minister Mofaz said Israel should not be lulled into a false sense of security, and that there have been 55 terror actions - including mortar firing, shootings, and attempts to plant roadside explosives - since the beginning of what has been widely termed a "quiet" week. The mini-cabinet decided to begin the transfer of five West Bank cities - Jericho, Bethlehem, Tulkarem, Kalkilya, and Ramallah - to Palestinian security control. The transfer will be staggered to judge how the PA is dealing with one city, before moving on to another. The mini-cabinet also decided on humanitarian measures, to increase the number of work permits for Palestinians in Israel, remove numerous blockades and roadblocks, open the crossings into Gaza, and authorize the building of a sea port in Gaza.

2005-02-04 00:00:00

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