Israel plans to hand back Tulkarim

Israeli occupation forces plan to hand over security control to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank city of Tulkarim from Monday.

    Mofaz said Israel would closely monitor handed over areas

    Israeli Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz said on Sunday that Israeli and Palestinian security commanders were scheduled to meet later on Sunday in Tulkarim to finalise the arrangement.

    "The transfer to the Palestinians will begin tomorrow," Mofaz said during a visit to an Israeli military base not far from Tel Aviv.

    He added that Israel  "will closely monitor the situation in the towns where security responsibility is transferred", without specifying how long the transfer in Tulkarim would take.

    Defence Ministry spokeswoman Shiri Eden agreed and expected the handover to take place on Monday, barring any last-minute complications.

    Full handover

    Last Wednesday, Israel handed over limited security control of the West Bank city of Jericho to the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the first steps of a full security handover that is set to take four weeks to complete.

    Tulkarim, located along the frontier dividing Israel and the West Bank, is one of  five West Bank towns Israel has agreed to transfer to Palestinians under last  February agreement between Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas.

    The town is just across the so-called Green Line divide between Israel and the West Bank and is behind the barrier Israel is building in the occupied territory.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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