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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Israel promises to remove checkpoints - maybe

We heard this one before. Israel has promised to remove checkpoints. Unfortunately, since Salam Fayad admitted that Palestinians are not ready to take over security in the West Bank, it is difficult to see how checkpoints can be removed without severe risk.
It is better not to make promises than to break them.
Ami Isseroff
Last update - 18:33 11/08/2007    
By News Agencies

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert promised Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas during their meeting early this week that he would release in the coming days a list of "major" West Bank roadblocks that will be removed, top Palestine Liberation Organization negotiator Saeb Erekat said Saturday.
Erekat said Olmert gave specific assurances to Abbas in the meeting, which took place in the West Bank town of Jericho. "Olmert told Abbas that by next week, the defense minister will submit a whole list of major checkpoints to be removed in the West Bank, to enable the mobility of the Palestinians," Erekat said.
National Infrastructures Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer confirmed Defense Minister Ehud Barak is considering a removal of some roadblocks, but suggested there would not be far-reaching changes. "The safety of Israelis takes precedent," he said.

"We are taking the commitment of the prime minister seriously, and we are waiting to see deeds," Erekat said.
Erekat added that the Palestinians have a commitment from Olmert to pursue a meaningful peace process to realize a two-state solution.
Following the talks, Abbas promised Palestinians on Tuesday that their daily lives would soon improve.
"Many issues which affect the Palestinians in their day-to-day lives will be resolved," Abbas told Voice of Palestine radio in his first public comments on his meeting on Monday with Olmert in the West Bank city of Jericho.
Palestinian officials said at the time that they had received assurances from Olmert that Israel would approve as early as next week the removal of some West Bank checkpoints.
Meanwhile, Palestinian police in the West Bank city of Nablus launched an extensive operation Saturday destroying cars they said lacked correct documentation, and were therefore probably stolen from Israel.

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