Olmert tells Abbas Israel will not stop food, medicine supplies to Gaza Strip
Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert promised Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday that Israel would not disrupt the supply of food and medicine into the Gaza Strip. According to Haaretz, the two leaders met Sunday at the prime minister's official residence in Jerusalem for a two-hour tete-a-tete that focused on the Gaza Strip border crisis.
Abbas was expected to ask Olmert to consider transferring control of the Gaza Strip border crossings to the Palestinian Authority. Abbas' aide Yasser Abed Rabbo said Israel must authorize the transfer of control in order to end the crisis in the Gaza Strip. "During the talks, president Abbas is going to ask Olmert that the (Palestinian) Authority forces deploy on the frontier between Gaza and Egypt," senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told AFP.
Abbas was also expected to ask Olmert to lift restrictions on the movement of Palestinians in the West Bank and to remove roadblocks.
Before the talks in Jerusalem, interim Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said that Cairo had agreed to Abbas' plan to assume control over Gaza Strip's border with Egypt, thus excluding the Strip's Hamas rulers. Egyptian Foreign Ministry said Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Sunday discussed Abbas' idea "which was approved internationally at the Paris donors conference in December."