RAMALLAH ø The Palestinian Authority has pledged to submit a plan
for the stabilization of the Gaza Strip in wake of any Israeli withdrawal.
PA officials said chairman Yasser Arafat relayed such a pledge to
Egyptian intelligence chief Oman Suleiman during their meeting on Monday.
They said Arafat promised to submit a PA security plan to Egypt next week.
The PA has been urged by Egypt, Israel and the United States to draft a
security plan that would ensure stability in the Gaza Strip in wake of any
Israeli withdrawal. Several Arab and Western countries have offered to
finance the PA effort as well as train and equip security forces in the West
Bank and Gaza Strip.
"What I know is that there are Egyptian preparations to help us to train
our security forces," PA Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei said after a Cabinet
meeting on Monday.
The PA plan would include Egyptian training, equipping and direction of
PA security forces. The officials said the effort would be monitored by
Israel and the United States.
Officials said Suleiman has demanded that Arafat relay a significant
amount of authority to his security chiefs. They said Arafat has agreed to
this in principle in exchange for an Israeli commitment to grant him freedom
of movement. Arafat has been confined to Ramallah for more than two years.
Israel has also been discussing a PA security effort with Mohammed
former PA security minister and security chief in the Gaza Strip. Dahlan has
been contacted by several Israeli officials, including the Defense
On May 27, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon plans to submit to the Cabinet
his latest plan for unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. Sharon was
said to have pressed several leading Likud ministers, including Finance
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, to support the plan for a staged withdrawal
from the Gaza Strip.