GAZA CITY Ñ Israel and the Palestinian Authority have agreed on a
withdrawal and transfer of security responsibility.
The agreement arranged by the United States calls for an Israeli
withdrawal from PA-controlled areas of the Gaza Strip and and the West Bank
city of Bethlehem. In exchange, the PA has agreed to assume security
responsibility over these areas.
Officials said the accord includes the following elements: Israel agreed
to end assassination and other military operations in PA-controlled areas of
the Gaza Strip and Bethlehem. Israel also pledged to lift restrictions on
the movement of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the Bethlehem area.
For its part, the PA agreed to security and intelligence cooperation
with Israel. The agreement includes the halt in Palestinian missile strikes
from the Gaza Strip and PA cooperation in stopping insurgency attacks from
The Israeli withdrawal will begin from the Gaza Strip on Monday,
officials said. The withdrawal from the Bethlehem area will take place later
Over the weekend, Palestinian gunners continued mortar fire toward
Israeli communities in the Gaza Strip. Israeli troops came under Palestinian
fire in several areas of the West Bank. Israeli officials said 70 alerts
have been received of Palestinian attacks, most of them from the West Bank.
In one of the attacks, a U.S. vehicle was damaged in a Palestinian
bombing in the Gaza Strip. Palestinian sources said two bombs blew up as a
convoy of U.S. diplomatic vehicles passed. Nobody was injured.
Earlier, Hamas and Islamic leaders accepted a plan for a three-month
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine said it will not join the
ceasefire accord as the proposed truce has aroused opposition within the
ruling Fatah movement.