Israel ready to withdraw from some parts of Gaza Strip as Sharon vows to continue with assassinations
Israel's prime minister, Ariel Sharon, told his Cabinet on Sunday that Israel will continue to attack "ticking bombs," activists on their way to commit attacks, according to Israel Radio.
"The main object that we have at this present time is to defeat terror. If the Palestinians will do it, God bless them. If not, then we will have to do it," Israel's Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Sunday.
Israel will pull its forces out of some areas of the Gaza Strip and hand over security to Palestinian officials as part of an attempt to revive peace moves, an Israeli official Sunday was quoted as saying.
Maj. Gen. Amos Gilad, a senior Israeli defense ministry official, presented Israel's withdrawal plan to Palestinian security chief Mohammed Dahlan during a meeting late Saturday, the Israeli media reported.
"It was positive, and there was a possibility of progress," Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath said of the meeting , according to AP.
A delegation of Egyptian security officials arrived in Gaza on Sunday to meet with leaders of Palestinian factions to discuss an agreement to stop attacks on Israelis. Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas was to have a role in the talks, Shaath said. The East Jerusalem-based Al Quds daily reported Sunday that the Egyptian delegation, comprised of four military officers, was bringing with it a proposal for a 6-month cease-fire between the Palestinians and Israel.
If the Palestinians are able to prevent activists from launching homemade rockets from those areas into Israel, the Israelis will then gradually withdraw from the other areas of Gaza it occupied during the recent violence, Israeli media reported. Four Qassam rockets were fired at southern Israel on Sunday.
Palestinian officials said Dahlan told Gilad he was working to get the armed groups to stop attacks, and said the Palestinians were ready to assume security responsibility in areas from which Israel withdraws. Israel also asked Dahlan to ensure that attacks against Israel stop, and told him that if Israel is attacked, it will respond, Palestinian officials said.
Dahlan demanded Israel stop targeted killings and free prisoners, the officials said.
Also on Sunday, a 47-year-old Palestinian man, Nabil Jaradat, died of wounds he suffered when Israeli tanks fired on his car near the West Bank city of Jenin last week. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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