Referring to today's decision to renew the talks, Associate Prime Minister Shimon Peres said this morning, "The disengagement plan [from Gaza and northern Shomron] was designed unilaterally, but in practice, it will become bilateral."
Talk of the "impending ceasefire" by the terrorists has all but overshadowed reports of continued attacks over the past few days, such as mortar shells and Kassam rockets. IDF officials report that a preliminary investigation into the death of a five-year-old Arab girl in Gaza today indicates that a Kassam rocket fired by Palestinian terrorists fell short of its mark, and instead killed the girl.
In addition, two Kassam rockets were fired last night - one at a western Negev community and another at the Kerem Shalom area in southern Gaza. Arab terrorists in Gaza also fired two mortar shells towards N'vei Dekalim. There were no casualties or damage.
Minister Peres said last night that it is "clear" to him that Israel will have to vacate the Philadelphi Route – the border between Israel and Egypt in southern Gaza under which smugglers tunnel in arms and explosives. He said that security considerations are not the entire story, and that diplomatic issues must also be taken into account. "Israel will not be able to surround Gaza on all four sides," Peres said, "and in order to allow it an open crossing southward, Israel will have to withdraw its forces from the Philadelphi Route."
Who will patrol and guard the border? "The Palestinians and Egyptians will replace us there," Peres said. PA para-military policemen began this morning, with Israel's permission, to deploy along the Philadelphi Route.