Israel to Remove Judea, Samaria Checkpoints
(IsraelNN.com) Central Command head General Gadi Shamni met Wednesday night with Palestinian Authority officials, among them commanders in the PA armed forces. Shamni told the officials, whose identity was kept private, that Israel plans to strengthen PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) through a series of "good-will gestures," among them the removal of many Judea and Samaria checkpoints.
The officials reported on their success in controlling Arab riots in Judea and Samaria, particularly during the Cast Lead operation in Gaza. PA forces have also taken charge of fighting crime in PA-controlled areas.
PA commanders requested Israel's approval for the construction of new police stations in Judea and Samaria, and asked to extend the regions policed by PA forces. Shamni pointed out that only Defense Minister Ehud Barak could provide the authorization they sought.
PA officials said their forces had also succeeded in fighting terrorists from Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Reaction to the PA's public war on terrorists has been mixed, with some Israeli officials expressing concern that the PA targets only its political rivals, while Fatah terrorists are allowed to continue their anti-Israel activities.
IDF officials expressed satisfaction with the PA forces' performance.
Analysts say the IDF is trying to improve civilian life among Arab residents of Judea and Samaria in order to draw a clear line between the sanctions put on Hamas-run Gaza and the benefits granted to those living under the Fatah-controlled PA. Israel has agreed to remove checkpoints and release terrorist prisoners on several occasions over the past year in an attempt to strengthen Abbas.
Ehud Barak to Meet with Tony Blair Thursday
(IsraelNN.com) Labor leader Ehud Barak will meet Thursday with Tony Blair, the Quartet envoy in the Middle East. The meeting will take place in Tel Aviv.
Barak and Blair will discuss the outcome of the elections and other issues. Labor received 13 mandates in the elections and Barak has announced that he would like to be in the opposition.
"What's this?How are we supposed to understand this meeting between our PRESENT BUT OUTGOING DM and the FAITHFUL POODLE OF THE POPE BLAIR, after these elections that obviously don't please Rome too much? What would they be plotting??"
C. said:This means "trouble."
Moshe L. wrote:
THE PERMANENT GOVERNMENT NEVER GOES AWAY!
...and the third is to allow them to continue to live under their own laws, subject to a regular tribute, and to create in them a government of a few, who will keep the country friendly to the conqueror
--Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince