Date: 31 / 03 / 2007 Time: 14:34
Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli TV revealed that a quartet committee from Egypt, Israel, Palestine and the United States, was formed recently to prevent an escalation between the Israelis and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
Israeli TV Channel 2 said that the committee was formed during United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's recent visit to Ramallah and Jerusalem.
The committee will convene in Egypt soon but no exact dates have been announced. The representatives from each of the four nations will discuss security issues such as monitoring the Rafah crossing from Egypt into the Gaza Strip and arms smuggling, in addition to the launching of projectiles from the Gaza Strip into Israeli areas.
Israeli analysts said that the Israeli leadership hopes that this committee will succeed in preventing projectile launching. Other analysts believe that the Israeli military commanders are pushing for a military confrontation in the Gaza Strip, but that the political leaders are less inclined to create an escalation in Gaza.
One analyst was asked what might prevent an Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip and his response was: firstly, a prevention of arms smuggling from Egypt into Gaza, secondly, an end to the manufacture of projectiles and thirdly, the cessation of the launching of projectiles at Israel.
The red line
When asked if there was a line that Palestinians could cross to provoke an attack, he said "the landing of a projectile during the Jewish Easter feast on an Israeli Jewish family and if that kills the Israelis; that will be enough to launch an attack on the Strip."
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