NEW YORK - Prime Minister Ehud Olmert landed in New York Sunday and is scheduled to meet with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
The two are expected to discuss the possibility of placing a multinational force on the Egyptian border and renewing the embargo placed on Hizbullah at the Syria-Lebanon border in UN resolution 1701.
A senior political source from Olmert's entourage said that in light of recent developments in the Gaza Strip, a new situation exists in which Israel could cooperate with the legitimate Fatah government.
Nonetheless, the source made it clear that at this point, placing a multi-national force on the Philadelphi route would be impossible.
"The Egyptians will not agree to a mulit-national force on its border, and neither will Hamas. In any event, the question remains: What type of mandate would such a force have and would it be granted a status that would allow it to operate as in Lebanon?"
'Israel will not let Gaza fall into crisis'The source said, that in Olmert's meeting with US President George Bush, the possibility of holding talks with Palestinians in the West Bank, headed by Salam Fayyad's Fatah government, would come up.
The source said talks were a possibility as long as the emergency government upheld the Quartet and international community's conditions.
If the new Palestinian government accepts the above terms, the sources said, "We will be able to go back to the days before Hamas was elected, meaning we could operated according to Sharm al-Sheikh agreements. As for the humanitarian problem, Israel will not let Gaza fall into crisis and will ensure a continued supply of fuel, water, electricity and medical equipment."
The multi-national force's mandate in Lebanon is supposed to be renewed in August, and Israel will ask the UN and the US president to put pressure on Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora to request the deployment of a multi-national force along the Syria-Lebanon border as well.
The source however, was skeptical that this would take place in August, saying the optimal situation now would be if the Lebanese army would first be deployed along the Syria-Lebanon border, and then be followed by a multi-national force, which has already proven itself.