Israel agrees to Egyptian proposal to beef up forces on Gaza Strip border
Israel has accepted Egypt's offer to beef up its forces on the border between Sinai and the Gaza Strip and to train Palestinian officers, Israeli government sources were quoted as saying Wednesday by Haaretz.
Israel was to convey this decision to Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit and intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, who arrived in Jerusalem Wednesday for talks with Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom and Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz.
Sharon told a delegation of American senators Tuesday that he would discuss with the Egyptian ministers "how Egypt is enlisting to reinstate stability in Gaza and to promote Israel's security coordination with the Palestinians." Sharon said that if Egypt acts to stop the smuggling, the Israeli forces would be able to withdraw from the border route.
According to Haaretz, Sharon told the senators that Egypt must act against arms smuggling into the Strip not only near the border but also well inside its territory.