'Gaza First' was the cry from the Israeli 'left' before Oslo. Now it's the cry from the Sharon-led Israeli government. In common was and is the plan to create a quisling, controlled, armed, and financed 'Palestinian regime' to control the increasingly isolated Palestinian population, especially those in the concentration camp called Gaza.
Sharon gives the nod to `Gaza first' plan
By Aluf Benn
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon yesterday authorized a "Gaza first" plan proposed by Defense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer. The plan is designed to promote quiet in the territories, particularly in areas that have witnessed relatively little violence, in coordination with Palestinian Authority security officials.
Ben-Eliezer is expected to present the plan to PA Interior Minister Abed Razek Yehiyeh. This meeting, however, is likely to be delayed, owing to yesterday's terror attack in Jerusalem.
According to an Israeli security official, the plan features steps to be undertaken by Israel and the PA without a fixed timetable. The results of each step are to be reviewed before subsequent ones are carried out. Israel proposes to implement the plan first in the Gaza Strip, where PA security mechanisms have not been disrupted, along with selected cities on the West Bank (Jericho, Hebron and Bethlehem).
Palestinian security men are to take responsibility for security affairs in areas in which the plan is implemented. Initial phases will aim at the attainment of quiet, even by way of talks with local terror operatives. "Should they [PA officials] attain quiet under an agreement, we will not oppose it," the Israeli official said, alluding to such talks.
The Palestinian security men will also be asked to take steps against terrorists, including arrests and the confiscation of weapons. But the Israeli official emphasizes: "the goals aren't overly ambitious. We don't seek objectives that will not be fulfilled; we're looking for things that can be done."
In exchange for Palestinian action, Israel will reduce troop deployments, and eventually withdraw its army from A areas (which were under full PA control under the Oslo Accords) in which the plan is in effect. Also, Israel will dismantle roadblocks, and allow Palestinian laborers to cross the Green Line. The scope of such alleviation measures will conform to the scope of anti-terror steps taken by the PA security men under the agreement, explained the Israeli source.