U.S. "Allows" Israel To Defend Its Citizens But With "Extreme Sensitivity"

Palestinians Thumg Nose At U.S., Get Rewarded


DEBKAfile reports exclusively: US presidential adviser Rice’s mission in Jerusalem Sunday was to set in motion a Sharon government reshuffle, co-opting Labor in place of right-wing ministers. Silvan Shalon was asked to step down as foreign minister in favor of Shimon Peres.

Israel troops complete pullout from northern Gaza Strip Sunday night, turning security over to Palestinian Authority. New traffic arrangements go into effect Monday on main Gaza Strip highway. Also Monday, Israeli, Palestinian officers work on timetable for Israeli military withdrawal from Bethlehem on West Bank.

Hamas and Jihad Islami announce three-month truce from Sunday. Arafat’s Fatah joins ceasefire Sunday night, without its suicide arm, Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades

Rice allowed Israel’s right to defend citizens by carrying out military operations in areas remaining under its control, but advised “extreme sensitivity”.

She also said Washington has problem with security fence and its political connotation. Sharon replied fence was a vital protective device and construction would go on.

Palestinians open fire Sunday night on Israeli troops in Hebron. One soldier slightly hurt.

DEBKAfile’s sources reveal Rice talks Saturday with Palestinian leaders in Jericho reached impasse.

Mahmoud Abbas and Mohamed Dahlan refused to fight terrorist organizations (Stage One of Road Map), spurned US guarantees and US monitors, demanded instead international guarantees and large multinational force as buffer between Israelis and Palestinians. Arafat has long demanded conflict be internationalized and Washington’s role diluted.

Abbas laid down conditions for accepting Bush invitation to White House.

Hizballah anti-air barrage over northern Israel – 16th this month. Kiryat Shmona apartment damaged by shrapnel ...

DEBKAfile reveals: Arafat plans to leave Ramallah HQ after onset of Israeli pullback from Gaza Strip and Bethlehem and lead “victory parade” through territories under slogan: Our Intifada has won.