Sharon: Israel won't release Palestinian prisoners until PA cracks down on ”terror”
Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Sunday that Israel will not release any more Palestinian prisoners until the Palestinian Authority "fulfills its commitment to crack down on the terror organizations."
"We cannot approve any measures that ease the lives of Palestinians so long as they are not doing their part," said the premier, during the weekly cabinet meeting.
He asked Justice Minister Zippi Livni, who is due to meet Sunday with Palestinian leaders regarding the prisoner issue, to make it clear to them that "we do not intend to live under fire."
Livni will be participating in a meeting of the joint PA-Israel prisoners committee, to discuss the criteria for the release of 400 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli prisons.
The planned release, announced on Wednesday by Livni, comes after the release of 500 prisoners following the Sharm el-Sheikh summit in February. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had confirmed last week that Israel intends to release more security prisoners.
Meanwhile, Palestinian president Abbas said Saturday that a meeting between himself and Sharon is necessary to advance the peace process.
"We need a meeting to push the peace process forward and to discuss the implementation of the agreements held between us, like that of Sharm el-Sheikh, and to talk about the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza," Abbas told reporters. Abbas said there was a proposal for a meeting but no date had yet been set.
In the meantime, a settler from a Jewish settlement has reportedly poisoned the water wells of a neighboring Palestinian town in the West Bank, the official Qatar news agency reported.
News reports from the area said a Jewish settler from Kadumim settlement, which is built on the lands of the Palestinian Kfar Qadoum town, to the east of QalQilyah in the West Bank, has poisoned all the drinking water located at the south-eastern side of the town.
The Chiarman of the Kfar Qadoum municipal council, Assad Shteiwi has warned the Palestinian population against using the wells.
© 2005 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)