Israel, PA fail to agree on further pullbacks; Dahlan rejects demand to dismantle armed groups
Israel's Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and PA Minister for Security Affairs Mohammed Dahlan failed to reach an agreement Wednesday night on the transfer of further West Bank cities to Palestinian control. Israel had said that it intended to transfer security control to the Palestinians in the cities of Qalqilyah and Jericho, while the PA insisted that one the two cities be Ramallah, Haaretz reported.
Israeli security sources said Wednesday night that the transfer of the cities would not take place before next week. A security source said, “there is no crisis, but we haven’t reached an agreement yet.”
The meeting between the two took place near Jerusalem, and lasted about four hours. It came following Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s promises to U.S. President George W. Bush to hand over more territory to the Palestinians’ authority.
Mofaz showed Dahalan statistics indicating the recovery of the "terror" infrastructure, mainly in the production of home-made Qassam rockets, and demanded that the PA take action. Dahlan responded that he was acting according to plan, but added that the PA had its own priorities.
Before to the meeting, Dahlan rejected the Israeli demand to disarm the "terrorist" groups. According to him, “the terror infrastructure is and Israeli concept that is unacceptable to us. We will not arrest activists and we will not confront them as long as the cease-fire is intact.”
Earlier in the evening, Palestinian sources said that the agenda for the meeting was to include 16 items, among them the conclusion of security understandings pertaining to Palestinians wanted by Israel.
Under the arrangement, the sources said, Israel would promise that the wanted men would not be targeted or arrested, in return for a PA pledge to limit their movements, and, in certain cases, transfer them to a detention camp in Jericho. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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