In a statement after talks with Egyptian President Husni Mubarak on Sunday, the Palestinian Authority president also called for clarity on the relationship of the withdrawal to the international peace plan known as the road map, drawn up by the European Union, the United States, the United Nations, and Russia.

"We must know where we are going, if the pullout is linked to the road map and if it is a total pullout," Abbas said on Sunday.

The Palestinian leader, who met Mubarak in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm al-Shaikh, also said "Palestinians are ready to coordinate with Israelis" on the Gaza withdrawal, but want additional details.

Abbas said Israel was too slow in implementing a series of goodwill measures agreed upon at a February peace summit, among them army withdrawals from several West Bank towns and the release of hundreds of prisoners detained in Israeli jails.

"This process had indeed begun but was postponed because of Israel ... Israelis do not want to move forward on this matter," he charged.

Jordan meeting

Meeting later with Jordan's King Abd Allah II in Amman, Abbas and the king said the issue of Jewish settlements posed "an obstacle to a just and comprehensive peace", calling for "a halt to the construction of new and illegal settlements" in the Palestinian territories.

"This process had indeed begun but was postponed because of Israel ... Israelis do not want to move forward on this matter"

Mahmud Abbas,
Palestinian president

They also said that East Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, must be protected from "any threat by extremist Jewish groups".

The king also called for Israel to follow up on its planned Gaza withdrawal by pulling out of the West Bank.

"The pullout from Gaza should be followed by a withdrawal from the West Bank as laid down in the road map," he said in a statement issued by the palace.