Mofaz to Dahlan: PA Gaza deployment insufficient (JERUSALEM POST) By JPOST.COM STAFF 02/01/05)
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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
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
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
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
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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