Palestinian killed as Israeli DM says troops may pullout from West Bank in ”days”
Israeli Defense Minister Saul Mofaz said Sunday that Israel could pull its troops back from several West Bank cities within days, pending the outcome of further talks with the new Palestinian leadership.
Meanwhile, Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian in a pre-dawn attack on Sunday on the "Philadelphi road" in southern Gaza Strip. The Palestinian, who had entered an off-limits zone, was unarmed, according to Israel Radio.
"One of the issues we discussed is the transfer of [West Bank] cities," Mofaz said after talks late in Saturday with Palestinian official Mohammed Dahlan.
"It is very possible responsibility will be transferred [to Palestinian security forces] in some of the cities in the next few days. We are supposed to meet again to finalize the issues."
In the meantime, officials from both sides said Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas would meet around February 8.
In yet another development, the Israeli occupation authorities kept on Sunday many crossings in the Gaza Strip closed, despite alleged Israeli ease of restrictions Saturday, yet the Rafah crossing terminal, south of Gaza Strip, was opened for the returnees only, Palestinian security sources told IPC.
The sources maintained that the "Sofa" commercial crossing, just east of Rafah City, was opened for basic foods only. In addition, Israeli soldiers, stationed at the Beit Hanoun crossing, north of the Gaza Strip, kept closing the crossing and prevented Palestinians from entering the industrial zone.
Also, one arrest operation took place in the West Bank over the weekend. In the Ein Beit-Ilma refugee camp in Nablus, Israeli troops arrested two "wanted" Fatah members who are suspected of planning to carry out an attack soon.
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