Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) met for the second time in two days early Monday in Jerusalem in what was allegedly a hastily arranged "last minute" meeting.
It was the second brace of meetings in as many weeks, but reportedly failed to resolve the dispute over Israel’s right to build within Jerusalem city limits and how to stop the continuing terrorist attacks launched by PA terrorists from Gaza. Negotiating teams for the two sides reportedly met as well.
Abbas specifically used the opportunity to urge Olmert to cooperate with Egyptian efforts toward a ceasefire with Hamas terrorists. Quiet negotiations have reportedly been continuing for some time; the most recent offer from Israel allegedly outlined a plan for a 6-to-12 month end to rocket fire from Gaza in exchange for an easing on access through the Gaza crossings. So reports the London-based Arabic-language Al Hayat daily newspaper.
The PA chairman and Fatah leader is about to depart for the United States and Russia.
PA terror violence has continued in Judea and Samaria despite Israel’s agreement to allow the PA to deploy a new contingent of some 620 US-trained and armed PA military officers in the streets of Jenin. A similarly US-trained and equipped PA military force was previously deployed in Shechem (Nablus).
Shechem, also known in the region as “terrorist central,” was the first city in which the newly-trained and equipped force was deployed several months ago. IDF troops continued to carry out counterterrorism operations in the area, enabling the PA force to focus its efforts primarily on law enforcement.
The new US-trained PA military force is supposed to be capable of completely stopping the emanation of terrorism from PA-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria, one of the conditions set forth in the U.S. Roadmap plan.
Islamic Jihad vs. Fatah
On Sunday, Islamic Jihad terrorists targeted the vehicle of Jamal Muhaisen, the PA governor of the Shechem region, as he drove through the Balata neighborhood of the city. Four people were wounded in the attack.
Arutz Sheva's Israel news sources reported that Muhaisen ran for cover and was later smuggled out of the area by PA police. Local residents set fire to his car, which was completely destroyed. The PA governor is a close associate of PA Chairman Abbas.