Photo: AP
Palestinian laborers – no longer welcome?
Photo: AP
Photo: Yaron Brenner
Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz
Photo: Yaron Brenner

Defense officials: Keep PA laborers out

Security officials recommend series of moves to be adopted in wake of Hamas' elections victory, including denial of entry permits to Palestinian laborers, curbs on fund transfers, and prevention of movement from Gaza to West Bank

Playing hardball with Hamas: The defense establishment recommends that Israel adopt a series of measures in the wake of Hamas' election victory, including the curbing of fund transfers to the PA, the prevention of movement from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank, an effort to stop donations to the Palestinians, and a ban on the entry of Palestinian laborers starting this coming week.


However, at this time Israel has no intention of undermining Palestinian water and electricity infrastructures or tampering with the transfer of medical supplies, and will continue humanitarian cooperation with the Palestinian side.


Other recommendations, formulated following a meeting attended by senior security officials, include the freezing of all projects (such as the setting up of a Gaza seaport and airport) and preparations to turn Gaza's Erez and Karni crossings into international border crossings, thus ending the practice of collecting taxes on behalf of the PA.


Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz also ordered the establishment of a special team that would recommend future moves on a weekly basis.


The defense minister said the swearing in of the new Palestinian parliament on Saturday will mark the beginning of Israeli sanctions, adding that "a Hamas authority constitutes a danger to the State of Israel."


The discussion was also attended by IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz, Shin Bet Director Yuval Diskin, Mossad Director Meir Dagan and IDF Intelligence Chief Amos Yadlin, among others.


'honey trap'


During the discussion, defense establishment officials said that the fact that at this stage Hamas is trying to present a false impression of calming the area down is not more than a "honey trap" aimed at putting the public opinion to sleep and creating disputes among the international community.


Hamas is currently continuing to build its power in order to carry out violent acts against Israeli citizens, officials said.


Mofaz said that Israel must continue to insist on its demand that Hamas accepts its conditions, including disarming the organization, renouncing terror, recognizing the State of Israel, annulling the convention calling for Israel's destruction and accepting all past agreements.


"The fact that Hamas is unwilling to withstand these demands should bother the entire world, and only testifies to the organization's real intentions," Mofaz said.


Israel has so far adopted a policy of distinguishing between terrorists and Palestinian civilians who do not take part in terror activities.


The working premise was that Palestinian welfare should be enabled (by providing working permits inside Israel and opening crossings and roadblocks) out of a desire to let Palestinians live their lives in dignity and prevent frustration, which may lead them to join the terrorist activity against Israel.


פרסום ראשון: 02.16.06, 15:18
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