P.A. Set To Handle Gaza Pullout, Palestinian Security Chief Says

Published February 20, 2004, issue of February 20, 2004.
  • Print
  • Share Share

If Israel unilaterally withdraws from the Gaza Strip as Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has suggested, no governmental vacuum would be formed, Jibril Rajoub, Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat’s national security advisor, said Tuesday in an unusual briefing with Israeli reporters.

“We have a plan to handle the territory,” Rajoub said during the press conference, held in the West Bank city of Ramallah. “We won’t mourn the evacuation of the settlers, but we prefer that the evacuation be done through negotiations, not unilaterally.”

Rajoub said that the United States and Israel have no right to decide who will rule the Palestinian people. He told reporters that Arafat was the only Palestinian leader who could sign a peace agreement with Israel, because he is the elected leader “whether you like him or not.”

“Sharon, too, is also not exactly a B’Tselem activist,” Rajoub added, referring to the Israeli center for human rights in the territories, but went on to say that “Sharon is the only Israeli leader who could bring about peace if he really means it. We are not waiting for [Yossi] Beilin or [Yossi] Sarid to be your prime ministers,” Rajoub said, referring to the former justice minister behind the Geneva Understandings and the former leader of the left-wing Meretz Party, respectively.

Rajoub claimed that Hamas would not pose a real threat to the P.A. if Israel evacuated its Gaza settlements. “The organization has a pragmatic side to it, too,” he said. “Some of the group’s leaders agree to peace with Israel [if Israel withdraws to its] 1967 borders.” Rajoub reiterated that the P.A. was interested in a two-state solution and again called for a renewal of peace talks.






Find us on Facebook!
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.