Israel considers giving PA more control

Posted: May 5, 2010 by Jonathan Boyko in Israel, Palestinians, Peace Process, West Bank
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Jerusalem and Abu Dis. Just under two miles (three kilometers) apart. Israeli sources tell reports the State might consider transferring more territories under PA security control, including village of Abu Dis, near East Jerusalem:

An Israeli security source said this week it is "an idea Israel is considering" if George Mitchell, U.S. President Barack Obama’s Middle East envoy, succeeds in resuming peace talks with Palestinians stalled since December 2008.

Mitchell returned to the region on Monday in hopes of convening indirect or "proximity" talks in the coming days between the sides after an Arab League panel approved the idea at a meeting in Cairo on Saturday.

Some Israelis see a handover of towns such as Abu Dis as a possible compromise after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would not curb Jewish housing construction in occupied areas in and near Jerusalem, despite U.S. calls to do so.

(Haaretz)

AS ISRAEL CONSIDERS the idea, most of the security echelon probably opposes it. Allowing still-corrupt Fatah to fully control areas so close to Jerusalem could mean militant elements exploiting the small distance (just under two miles) between the two to launch hit-and-run attacks against Israeli capital. Moreover, in case the talks explode and Mahmoud Abbas – just as his predecessor – decides to use militant forces to submit Israel into concessions, Jerusalem’s Jews could experience what their father got prior to 1967 Six Days War – constant rocket, mortar and small arms fire from Arab-controlled districts into the streets of Jewish quarters.

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