Daily Israel Report

Mortar Shells in Gush Katif; Diplomacy Continues

Palestinian terrorists in Gaza fired two mortar shells last night, while plans are underway for meetings between Ariel Sharon, Mahmoud Abbas, and even George Bush.
First Publish: 5/26/2003, 10:08 AM

Terrorism and diplomacy in the Middle East continue to vie for the world's attention. Palestinian terrorists in Gaza fired two mortar shells at or near the Israeli community of Gadid in southern Gush Katif last night, and Arabs also shot and threw grenades at IDF outposts on the Israeli-Egyptian border. On the other hand, American officials are already on their way to Israel to prepare the three-way summit meeting of Sharon-Bush-Abbas. At present, it is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, June 4, in Aqaba, Jordan - the port city adjacent to Eilat.

CNN reports that the Americans' destination is Egypt, and from there to Jordan, while Foxnews claims that the delegation went straight to Aqaba.

More immediately, however, a meeting between Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) is scheduled. Sharon is expected to explain the significance of yesterday's Cabinet vote in favor of the Road Map plus Israel's 14 reservations. The Cabinet voted yesterday that "The Government of Israel… resolves that all of Israel’s comments, as addressed in the [Bush] Administration’s statement, will be implemented in full during the implementation phase of the Road Map."

Abbas, on the other hand, will present to Sharon the "agreements" he reached with Hamas leaders last week. It will be recalled that Abbas and the PA leaders discussed with Hamas the option of a year-long ceasefire - even though Israel has said it will accept nothing less than a total dismantling of the terrorist infrastructures. However, Hamas did not even agree to a ceasefire, unless Israel releases all Arab terrorist prisoners and ceases all counter-terrorist operations.

It will further be recalled, as Arutz-7 reported on Friday, that Hamas spokesman Mahmoud A-Zahar, in an interview on BBC last week, said, "I’m telling you frankly, the attitude of Islam is not to accept a foreign state in this area."