Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Otte to 'Post': Int'l force for Gaza could be set up quickly
"The mechanism for an international security presence in the Gaza Strip "could be devised quickly" if Israel and the Palestinians reach an agreement on the matter, EU Middle East envoy Marc Otte told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.
Otte said there is "definitely more interest than in the past" for the idea from both the Israeli and Palestinian sides.
"After the [Second] Lebanon War, the sides see the merit in an international security presence," Otte said, referring to the international force in southern Lebanon. At the same time, he said, "we are a long way away from implementation."
Otte said that the EU was currently "in a listening mode" on the matter, adding: "We must make sure that all the parties are interested."
Both Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni have spoken positively about an international force in recent days, and they were not alone.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said at Monday's donors' conference in Paris that France "proposes the deployment, when the time and conditions are right, of an international force to assist the Palestinian security services."
Abbas said Tuesday he supported Sarkozy's proposal, telling a press conference in Paris that he welcomed the idea. "We are working for this to become the international position in the near future," he said......."
Are the Palestinians going to stop this stooge before the disaster becomes irreversible?