Sharon reportedly to give PA 6 months to prove commitment
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will tell the Herzliya Conference this evening that his political plan for a settlement with the Palestinians is based on a commitment to implement the U.S.-sponsored road map.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will tell the Herzliya Conference this evening that his political plan for a settlement with the Palestinians is based on a commitment to implement the U.S.-sponsored road map. He will note, however, that if - within a few months - it emerges that Israel has no Palestinian partner and that the Palestinian Authority is not fighting terror, he will consider a series of security measures that will include a redeployment in the territories and also the relocation of settlements.
According to a political source, in one of the talks Sharon held with ministers and lawmakers in preparation for his address, he said he intended to give Palestinian PM Ahmed Qureia six months to prove his commitment to a settlement with Israel, and then to announce that for security reasons, the small settlements - Ganim and Kadim in the West Bank, and Morag in the Gaza Strip - would be relocated.
In a meeting yesterday with U.S. Congressmen, Sharon said he was committed to the road map, with the 14 Israeli reservations, and would make an effort to move it forward, taking unilateral steps that would add to security and make life easier for the Palestinians if required. The prime minister did not elaborate on the unilateral measures, and it is unclear whether he intends this evening to speak of the possibility of evacuating settlements already in the interim stage, even before he assesses that there is no Palestinian partner for the road map.
Sharon will promise that all his moves will follow consultations with the defense establishment and will be made in coordination with the U.S.