sharon: we'll target only 'ticking bombs'

  1. 5,748 Posts.
    Jun. 15, 2003
    Sharon: We'll target only 'ticking bombs'

    Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was quoted as telling the cabinet Sunday that Israel would continue to target Palestinians considered as "ticking bombs," apparently a suggestion that Israel was bowing to pressure to curtail a spate of targeted attacks against terrorist leaders.

    Not long after Israeli media reported Sharon's remarks, IDF forces captured three wanted Palestinian terrorists, from Islamic Jihad and the Fatah-linked Tanzim in the Bethlehem area, reports said. Troops surrounded a cave where the three were hiding, demanded that they surrender and they reportedly did so without putting up any resistance.

    Isser Battat of Islamic Jihad had eluded capture for five years, Israel Radio reported.

    Meanwhile, an Israeli official said the IDF would pull out of some areas of the Gaza Strip and hand over security to Palestinian officials as part of an effort to revive peace moves.

    Maj. Gen. Amos Gilad, a senior Israeli defense ministry official, presented the withdrawal plan to Palestinian security chief Mohammed Dahlan during a meeting late Satu*rday, an Israeli official said on condition of anonymity.

    It was the first Israeli-Palestinian security meeting such since a June 4 summit in Jordan, where US President George W. Bush helped launch the "road map" peace plan, which calls for an end to 32 months of violence and the creation of a Palestinian state by 2005.

    "It was positive, and there was a possibility of progress," Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath said of the meeting. However, Shaath said, everything depended on the Palestinians getting all factions to agree to end attacks on Israelis.

    Sharon adviser Raanan Gissin said Israel has "submitted a plan ... relinquishing security control over parts of Gaza and handing it over to full control of the Palestinian Authority and Dahlan's security forces."(.......I've been pushing this line for ages. Let's see what the Pallies can do if they are entrusted with a few areas. If they can't control the areas they are supposed to.....then back we come. I still have this gnawing feeling that even though they may keep the areas quiet. bomb making factories will be going full pelt. If the Israelis discover any, and the Pallies make no arrests, and no more revolving door s h i t, then, back we go...But next time hard...Real hard...............Snooker)

    Palestinian Information Minister Nabil Amr told The Associated Press that "It was decided that in principle we are ready to take security responsibility in every area the Israelis show willingness to withdraw from."

    A high-level delegation of Egyptian security officials planned to arrive in Gaza on Sunday to meet with Hamas officials to discuss such an agreement. Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas was expected to attend the talks.

    Since the road map was launched, renewed violence capped by a bus bombing by Hamas and a string of Israeli helicopter raids aimed at Hamas leaders has killed 64 people.

    In the first phase of the withdrawal plan, Palestinians are to stop attacks against Israelis and disarm militants, and Israel is to dismantle many of the roughly 100 settlement outposts in the West Bank.

    According to officials, in their talks on Satur*day, Dahlan sought an end to Israel's targeted killings, a lifting of the siege on Yasser Arafat in Ramallah and the release of prisoners, while Gilad demanded an immediate end to terror and incitement against Israel.

    The talks come after a bloody week of attacks that left 60 people dead on both sides, and warnings from security officials that this week is likely to be a violent one too.

    "The word cease-fire is not in our dictionary," said Abdel Aziz Rantisi, the hard-line Hamas leader whom Israel targeted in a helicopter strike on Tuesday in Gaza City, which Rantisi survived. "Resistance will continue until we uproot them from our home land."

    The latest talks coincide with the arrival of the first contingent of US monitors who are to supervise implementation of the peace plan. The team of 10 to 15 CIA and State Department officials is headed by John Wolf, an assistant secretary of state.

    Under the roadmap peace plan, Israel is to withdraw gradually from territory it reoccupied in the past 32 months of fighting, while the Palestinians are required to dismantle militias, including Hamas. Palestinian Cabinet Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo said that under the latest US proposal, Israel would withdraw from large areas of Gaza and two West Bank cities. The two sides would also make a new cease-fire declaration, Abed Rabbo said.

    Avi Pazner, an Israeli government spokesman, noted that Israel has repeatedly offered to withdraw from areas it reoccupied in the past 32 months, provided the Palestinians assume security control. But Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas has in the past rejected the idea, saying he wanted to persuade Hamas and the other militants first to halt attacks on Israelis. But Hamas broke off truce talks with Abbas last week.

    US Secretary of State Colin Powell and other senior representatives of the so-called Quartet the United States, United Nations, Russia and the European Union are to hold talks in Jordan next week. And another roadmap meeting was to be held this week in Saudi Arabia, Abed Rabbo said, with Powell and foreign ministers of Egypt, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain attending.
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