ArabYnet online news site reported a Palestinian official source saying that Egypt called for an International conference with the participation of Quartet to discuss the preparations for the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza Strip and to resume talks in light of the Road Map.
The Israeli Foreign minister rejected this call which includes a cease-fire, claiming that a cease-fire will give the Palestinians the chance to get more weapons to fight Israel with.
The Palestinian source said that ‘Israel is not willing to be in anything that involves direct Palestinian-Israeli talks, especially with the Palestinian President Yasser Arafat personally.’
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmad Qurei said, Monday that Egypt will not send military to Gaza Strip.
‘Egypt will not send militants, but experts and trainers, to Gaza Strip’ said Qurei who emphasized at the end of his cabinet meeting that the Egyptian role will be focused on rehabilitating the Palestinian Security forces.
‘Egypt is making a big risk to help us, and we need this help’ Qurei said in defense of the Egyptian role which was highly criticized by several Palestinian Factions.
Qurei added, ‘There is nothing called, Egyptian security role, but Egyptian help for the Palestinian Authority’
The Palestinian premier called all the political factions to discuss preparations for the upcoming International Court of Justice on the legality of the West Bank separation wall on July 9.
The Quartet representatives, who met in Jerusalem on Tuesday, reaffirmed their support of the Egyptian initiative that aims to help in implementing the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s unilateral disengagement plan including the withdrawal from Gaza Strip.
The representatives of the Quartet, David Satterfield the Middle East advisor of the U.S. secretary of State, Alexander Kalugine the Russian envoy, Mark Otte special EU envoy and the UN envoy to the Middle East Terje-Rod Larrsen, have canceled the press conference scheduled after the meeting based on a request by Satterfield.
Satterfield is due to meet with the Palestinians Prime Minister Ahmad Qurei Wednesday after an American official delegation, including David Piers the American Consul General in Jerusalem, meets with the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah.