In his meeting with the Israeli vice Premier, Shimon Peres on Sunday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit said if the disengagement plan is not back up by progress toward  settlement in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip will “explode”.

In response, Peres stated that Gaza is first, and must not be allowed to be “Gaza last” hinting, however, that his position did not necessarily match that of Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Abul Gheit comments are seen by observers as true especially that the future of the Gaza Strip after the disengagement is unclear because of the lack of coordination for the disengagement.

Israeli political sources said Peres will be heading to Sharm Al-Sheikh to discuss the pullout with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.  The meeting is part of Egypt’s efforts to demonstrate involvement in coordination between Israel and the

Palestinians in an effort to insure the implementation of the pullout.

A link between Gaza Strip and the West Bank were also discussed in the meeting.

Peres noted that the laying of a rail line between Gaza and Tarqumiya in the West Bank would take some three years and cost around $170 million.


It was noted in the meeting that it was not ‘impossible to withdraw from Gaza and leave 1.3 million Palestinians closed off on all sides, without livelihoods and without the ability to sustain themselves.’

The situation in the Gaza Strip will not change dramatically should Israel keep control of the border crossing of the Gaza Strip with Egypt, and if happened, the link with the West Bank, local observers said.