An Israeli source reported on Thursday afternoon that the Israeli Defense Minister, Shaul Mofaz told the US Secretary of State envoy, David Welch, that Israel is not willing to allow Palestinian convoys to cross from Gaza Strip to West Bank for fear that fighters will transfer Qassam shells to the West Bank.
Mofaz held talks with Welch and told him that, in principle, Israel is interested in allowing the Palestinians to move freely between Gaza and the Wets Bank.
Also, Mofaz claimed that the closure of the Philadelphi and Rafah crossings in the Gaza strip have been a significant factor in decreasing arm smuggling into the Gaza Strip. Yet, he claimed that weapons continue to be smuggled from Egypt,
He demanded the Palestinian Authority to take steps against the Palestinian groups before talks resume.
Mofaz added the main challenge facing Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas after the January 25 parliamentary elections is to disarm the resistance factions.
He also voided any talks on the Road Map plan before the P.A fights resistance factions, disarms them, and ends chaos.
Mofaz reiterated Israel’s decision to allow PA elections in east Jerusalem but it will prevent Hamas candidates from running in the eastern parts of the city, and threatened that Israel will stop all talks with the P.A should Hamas come to dominate the parliament.
Referring to the situation in the north, Mofaz claimed that the Lebanon based Hezbollah party is still planning to carry out attacks against Israel, and that Israel believes that the party will escalate its attacks against Israel after the Palestinian elections.