Palestinian declaration of independence coming soon? Palestinian sources say U.S. President George W. Bush is pushing for the declaration of a temporary Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip, in accordance with the Road Map peace initiative.
According to a report in London-Based Arabic-language newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi, international and regional contacts on the matter are meant to press the Palestinian Authority to establish a government in Gaza, as a first step before a declaration of independence.
Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia recently announced the Palestinians are rejecting out of hand the idea of establishing a new government in the wake of Israel’s Gaza withdrawal.
The sources quoted by al-Quds al-Arabi say Bush support the temporary state initiative and has tasked regional officials with pressing
the Palestinians to agree to the scheme. According to the sources, the request to establish a new Gaza government paves the way for “the dangerous plan,” namely a temporary state.
However, despite Palestinian objections, the sources say the U.S. Administration believes the move comes in the framework of the Road Map and wants the Palestinians to accept it.
Regarding the West Bank, the sources said they expect Israel to divide up the area into cantons, with the northern and southern West Bank being connected through bridges and tunnels, in a bid to “establish facts on the ground.”