Tel Aviv Decides to Retain Contract With Gaza City as Twin City`

Motion to rescind status rejected, but realtions between the two cities will freeze until the return of 'better days.'

Tel Aviv's municipal council on Sunday rejected a motion raised by Deputy Mayor Arnon Giladi (Likud) to rescind its "twin city" status with Gaza City, opting instead for Mayor Ron Huldai's counter-proposal to freeze the relationship until "the return of better days."

In September 1998, Tel Aviv, Gaza City and Barcelona entered a "twin city" agreement aimed at supporting the Oslo Agreements and encouraging joint cultural projects funded by Barcelona's municipality.

Since the start of the Second Intifada, however, no contact has taken place between the Israeli and Palestinian municipalities.

"The Gaza Strip today is a kingdom of terror in the Middle East. Despite this, Tel Aviv is still connected to it in an agreement signed when optimism was at its peak," Arnon said. "I demand to rescind this unholy alliance."

In response, Huldai said his counterproposal to freeze the agreement rather than cancel it was intended to signal that "peace can sill be achieved between us and the Palestinians if we do it the right way."