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PALESTINIAN OFFICIAL: 'WE HOPE FOR AN ABBAS-SHARON SUMMIT BEFORE THE UPCOMING U.N. GENERAL ASSEMBLY'

Dr. Ahmed Subuh: 'Contacts Are Underway For Abbas - Sharon Summit Before U.N. General Assembly'

'Israel Should Disarm Settlers In Territories & Palestinian Authority Will Disarm Hamas'

'To Dismantle Terroristic Activities We need More Than Security Measures, We Need Political Hope'

Palestinian Leaders

What happens now, after Israel's unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and four West Bank settlements? How do the Palestinians view the new emerging situation? Dr. Ahmed Subuh is the deputy Minister of Information in the Palestinian Authority and in this interview with David Essing he discusses the burning issues in the post disengagement period and in the run-up to the Roadmap negotiations.

:: IsraCast Audio ::

A senior Palestinian official says contacts are underway for an Abbas - Sharon sumit before the U.N. General Assembly in New York later this month. Dr. Ahmed Subuh, Deputy Minister for Information in the Palestinian Authority believes a Palestinian- Israeli summit would be ‘a very good idea’ at this point. At the top of the Palestinian agenda would be ‘putting an end to Prime Minister Sharon’s unilateral actions’. The Palestinians would like to see the border question between Egypt and the Gaza Strip resolved. In addition, there is the finalizing of the harbor, the airport and the safe- passage between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Dr. Subuh went on to say it was important to stop what he called ‘the dangerous actions by the Israelis’. He referred to the expanding of settlements and buildng the security fence on Palestinian land.

Palestinian Terrorists

When asked about Sharon’s demand that the Palestinian Authority must first dismantle Hamas and the other terror organizations, Dr. Subuh this cannot be isolated from the other commitments made by both sides in the Roadmap and as such is not a condition. He compared it to Israel’s obligations to halt settlement activity including natural growth, the removal of illegal outposts on the West Bank and to declare an end to the occupation and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. And the Palestinian official asked: ‘Are the Israelis ready to disarm the settlers on the West Bank some of whom have murdered Palestinians’. But could there be any symetry between hundreds of Palestinian suicide bombings and isolated Israeli terrorists who are caught and prosecuted for murder? Dr. Subuh replied: ‘I am not defending terror attacks by any side; but to dismantle terror activities we need more than security measures, we need political hope’.

Footnote: Dr. Ahmed Subauch has indicated the Palestinians view the dismantling of the terror organizations as part and parcel of the entire Roadmap process. They have no intention of disarming the terrorists before retunring to the negotiating table as demanded by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Sharon declares the first stage of the Roadmap stipulates that the Palestinians must first disarm the terrorists and he will not budge on this issue. In light of these opposing positions it is difficult to see the Roadmap leading anywhere in the near future.

David Essing

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