Mofaz, Dahlan to discuss PA security control in West Bank (JERUSALEM POST) By MARGOT DUDKEVITCH AND JPOST STAFF 01/28/05)
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In another step toward a truce with the Palestinians, Defense
Minister Shaul Mofaz is slated to meet with former PA security
minister and senior Fatah leader Muhammad Dahlan on Saturday evening
to discuss the Palestinian Authority´s request for security control
over certain West Bank towns.
The defense establishment has already expressed its inclination to
consent to such applications, yet has stressed that the process would
be gradual and would depend of the maintenance of quiet in the areas,
Army Radio reported.
In a major policy reversal after more than four years of fighting,
IDF Chief of General Staff Moshe Ya´alon ordered the army on Friday
to reduce offensive operations in the Gaza Strip to a minimum in
order to enable PA forces to carry out their mission.
According to an Israel Radio report, the IDF will halt all offensive
missions in areas where Palestinian policemen have deployed to
prevent the launchings of Kassam rockets and mortar shells at
southern Israel and Gaza settlements
In addition, in accordance with security assessments and subordinate
to Palestinian security deployment to stop terror attacks at
crossings, the IDF will make arrangements to reopen Erez, Karni and
Rafah crossings next week for the benefit of the residents of the
During the day Friday, Israel opened the Karni crossing in the
northern Gaza Strip for several hours on Friday morning, during which
merchandise was exported from the Gaza Strip.
The site has been closed in the past two weeks, ever since the attack
at the crossing, which claimed the lives of six Israelis.
The decision was reached following a security evaluation and as an
Israeli gesture towards the Palestinians.
Furthermore, the Chief of Staff has ordered that IDF targeting of
terrorists in the West Bank will only take place if there is an
immediate threat by active terrorist cells, and only with his
In accordance with security assessments, the IDF will also make
arrangements to ease movement on the roads in the West Bank.
In response, senior PA official Mohammad Dahlan said it was a
positive step that could increase the chances of reaching a ´hudna´
Also on Friday, Vice Premier Shimon Peres and Foreign Minister Silvan
Shalom met separately with Palestinian Finance Minster Salam Fayyad
at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Army Radio
In the meetings, the senior officials discussed promoting joint
economic ventures and mobilizing the international business community
to invest in the territories.
In another positive development, Israel on Thursday night released a
Palestinian detainee who was arrested on Monday by security forces,
Israel Radio reported on Friday.
The man, Jihad Masimi from Nablus, is a senior operative of the
Fatah´s al-Aqsa Brigades. In the past, he served as the commander of
the Palestinian police in the West Bank city.
The decision to release him was reached following a request by the
Earlier, four mortars were fired at a Gush Katif settlement. An
additional mortar was fired towards another settlement.
Furthermore, shots were exchanged between IDF forces and Palestinians
near Neve Dekalim.
In both incidents, no injuries or damage were reported. (© 1995-2005,
The Jerusalem Post 01/28/05)
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