Palestinians Demand Regular Army for New State

[Ynet News] Roni Sofer - Despite previous understandings that a future Palestinian state would be demilitarized, in talks held behind closed doors, the top negotiator for the Palestinian Authority, Ahmed Qureia, is demanding the establishment of a regular army, high-level Israeli and Palestinian officials confirmed on Monday. The new and surprising demand first emerged last Sunday at negotiations in Jerusalem on security arrangements. Qureia told Foreign Affairs Minister Tzipi Livni that the Palestinian state would require a regular army to defend itself. Livni made clear that all previous accords specifically spoke of a demilitarized Palestinian state. In a speech at the president's conference last week, Livni said, "We are talking about a demilitarized state here...we will not stand for a terror state or an extremist Islamist state. There are conditions that will have to be met, before and after." "I don't hold by just tossing the keys over the border and hoping for the best. There will be no agreement over the future territory if there won't be satisfactory assurances regarding what its nature will be."

2008-05-19 01:00:00

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