Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Israeli gestures “agreed” at the first Olmert-Abbas talks Saturday night in Jerusalem were conferred weeks ago

"The same package of gestures, concessions and benefits was doled out in the three weeks leading up to the first heart-to-heart Saturday night, Dec. 23, between prime minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas at the prime minister’s private home in Jerusalem.

DEBKAfile reports it consisted of automatic weapons and ammunition (as disclosed by DEBKAfile), a portion of the frozen Palestinian assets and permission to move the PLO’s Badr Brigade from its Jordanian base to the Gaza Strip.

The last concession is stalled by the Palestinian insistence on the incoming troops bringing their families and settling permanently, which looks to Israel suspiciously like a back-door migration of Palestinian refugees, rather than a military boost for the Palestinian Authority. In any case, according to DEBKAfile’s military sources, the Badr troops have not had any military training in years......

US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice leaned hard on both leaders to get together to demonstrate successful US-sponsored diplomacy in at least one corner of the Middle East. She turned to Jerusalem in Ramallah in a region where everywhere else Washington’s fortunes are in reverse.......

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