August 7, 2002


Palestinians warm to Israeli truce plan (BBC, 7 August, 2002)
The Palestinian leadership has agreed in principle to an Israeli proposal to pull troops out of some occupied areas in exchange for a crackdown on militants.

The leadership decided to agree with this plan, as it is the first step of a comprehensive withdrawal from the re-occupied territories

"There is preliminary approval," Palestinian minister Nabil Shaath said after Chairman Yasser Arafat's cabinet had met in emergency session.

Palestinian and Israeli officials are due to discuss the details of the plan later on Wednesday. [...]

The Israeli proposal, put forward by Defence Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer on Monday, would start with a withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank town of Bethlehem.

In return, the Palestinian Authority would agree to stop attacks by militant groups in those areas.

If security could be guaranteed, Israel says further withdrawals could begin in other areas. [...]

Palestinian public works minister Azzem al-Ahmed told French news agency AFP that the plan "is the first step of a comprehensive withdrawal from the re-occupied territories".

Mr al-Ahmed said the proposal could eventually see a "return to the borders of 28 September 2000," the date when the latest Palestinian uprising broke out.

But he added that they still had "some issues to thrash out".

It's a start anyway... Posted by Orrin Judd at August 7, 2002 12:49 PM
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