27 June 2003

Arutz-7 Sheva News

Despite all, Israel and the Palestinian Authority are close to an agreement
on an IDF withdrawal from northern Gaza and Bethlehem. This was the
outcome of a meeting last night between IDF Gen. Amos Gilad and PA security
minister Muhammad Dahlan. Dahlan said the agreement might be finalized
"today or tomorrow."

Similar withdrawals in the past few years have always led to more bloodshed
- yet Prime Minister Sharon considers it a necessary beginning of the
promised implementation of the Road Map.

The three-month hudna ceasefire agreement that the PA is supposed to
announce with Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the coming days is not connected
with the above agreement. A hudna in Islam is generally a temporary
ceasefire which can be ended when one side feels strong enough to do so. A
popular and current joke reflects the typical Israeli approach to the hudna:
Q. How do you say, "Hold on a minute, stop shooting while I reload my
automatic rifle!" in Arabic?
A. Hudna.

U.S. National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice will arrive in Israel
tomorrow night, and will meet with Prime Minister Sharon, Defense Minister
Mofaz, and Foreign Minister Shalom, as well as with the PA's Abu Mazen.

Outgoing Southern Commander Maj.-Gen. Doron Almog says he has no trust in
Muhammad Dahlan. "The last thing that interests Dahlan is Israel's
security," Gen. Almog told Israel Radio today, "and he is also not too
interested in the welfare of the average Palestinian." Dahlan, as a
minister in Abu Mazen's government, is responsible for ensuring that Hamas
terrorists do not attack Israel. Gen. Almog said that even if Hamas agrees
to a short ceasefire, "don't expect a cessation of the manufacture of
weapons or of incitement. The imams in the mosques of Gaza every Friday
preach straight out that the fighting will continue until Ashdod and
Ashkelon are liberated."