Washington Fears Islamist Takeover in Gaza after Israeli Pullout

(Ha'aretz) Aluf Benn - The Bush administration has asked Israel to try starting negotiations with some Palestinian empowered to take responsibility for areas in Gaza evacuated by Israel, to try to prevent a takeover by Islamic fundamentalists. Some American officials have expressed reservations about a unilateral withdrawal that does not involve an orderly transfer of security responsibility to Palestinians on the ground. If extremists take control of the area evacuated by Israel in the first stage, this will be regarded as an Israeli failure that will further damage America's standing in the region.

2004-05-31 00:00:00

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