Israel: Next Step Will be Based on Gaza Pullout Results

(AP/Ha'aretz) The aftermath of Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip will decide Israel's next step in the peace process with the Palestinians, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom told the Kuwaiti daily Al-Rai Al-Aam Thursday. "If Gaza turns into a base for shooting missiles at Israel and increasing Palestinian attacks, it will be impossible to move on to another step and take a new risk," he said. Shalom said PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has to "dismantle" Islamic militant groups Hamas and Jihad who attack Israel. "The Gaza Strip will not become a prison," Shalom said. It will be open to Egypt, and humanitarian missions and goods will be allowed to cross from the West Bank. Shalom said Israeli and Palestinian officials were negotiating safe passages, and "we have allowed the building of the Gaza seaport, but we cannot let Palestinians bring militants and weapons through the port from Iran and abroad."

2005-08-19 00:00:00

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