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Mofaz to Dahlan: PA Gaza deployment insufficient (JERUSALEM POST) By JPOST.COM STAFF 02/01/05)Source: http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1107141483333 JERUSALEM POST JERUSALEM POST Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
Any progress in the West Bank including a possible hand over of West Bank cities will be directly connected to the situation in the Gaza Strip, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz told top PA security advisor Muhammad Dahlan on Monday night, Army Radio reported.

The two senior officials continued their round of discussions, which began on Saturday night.

At the beginning of the meeting, Mofaz demanded to know how the PA intended to deal with the mortar shell and Kassam fire.

He insisted upon immediate and unilateral action by the PA and stressed that there were still terrorist cells that continue to fire missiles at Israeli targets, Israel Radio reported.

According to the Army Radio report, during the meeting, Mofaz told Dahlan that the deployment of PA forces in Gaza was insufficient. We demand, the defense minister stressed, that you also take action against the terror squads.

In addition, Mofaz said any progress in negotiations with the Palestinians depends on cessation of terrorism and security calm.

Mofaz demanded the PA to take action on several fronts, the radio reported. First, a committed crackdown on terrorist infrastructure in Gaza, in addition to a cessation of terror, which would include all groups, including the small ones, rounding up and interrogating suspected terrorists, collecting illegal arms and shutting down arms manufacturing factories.

The defense minister accepted one of Dahlan´s requests to open the Erez and Rafah crossings. According to the radio, that is slated to take place in the next few days. The Karni crossing would remain closed for the time being.

The subject of prisoner release was not discussed during the meeting, which lasted approximately three and half hours.

Before the meeting, a senior security official said that the handover of security control in West Bank cities would be gradual and not all at once.

The two are meeting after a day of sporadic violence in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

After days of relative calm, a barrage of eight mortar shells was fired at settlements in Gush Katif on Monday afternoon. Five were fired at Neveh Dekalim and another three at other settlements. No one was injured but a house sustained damage in Neveh Dekalim.

Hamas claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying they were in response to the shooting of a Palestinian girl earlier Monday.

Late Monday, Israel said jubilant Palestinian rifle fire celebrating the return of pilgrims from Mecca, killed the Palestinian girl, Nuran Dib, 10.

UNRWA declared that the gunfire had come from Israeli-controlled territory but did not directly implicate the IDF in the shooting.

Also on Monday, a soldier was lightly wounded when a pipe bomb was thrown at an IDF near the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron.

Elsewhere, shots were fired at IDF troops near Jenin and Kadim in the West Bank. No injuries were reported.

An explosive device was discovered next to the Tunnel Road on Monday evening causing the road to be closed for a short while.

Several Israeli cars were also stoned on the road next to Beitar Ilit Monday night. There were no injuries but there was some damage to the vehicles.

Also on Monday, the IDF discovered a 50 kg explosive device just south of the Kissufim Crossing in the Gaza Strip. Border Police detonated the device in a controlled explosion. (© 1995-2005, The Jerusalem Post 02/01/05)

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