Israel reneges on bus deal

The Israeli defence minister is reported to have ruled out the rapid establishment of a bus link between the West Bank and Gaza that should have been already running under a US-negotiated deal.

    Condoleezza Rice negotiated the bus deal

    Shaul Mofaz was quoted by public radio on Sunday as telling the weekly cabinet meeting that "the security conditions are not ready for these convoys at the moment".

     

    The convoys across Israel should have begun operating last Thursday under the terms of the agreement overseen by Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, that also led to the opening of the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza.

     

    However, Israel decided to freeze all talks on the link after a bombing in the coastal city of Netanya that killed five Israelis. It accused the Palestinian Authority of doing nothing to rein in militant groups.

     

    The US is understood to have placed heavy pressure on Israel to allow the bus convoys as soon as possible.

     

    Under the terms of the agreement, Israel should also allow convoys of trucks to travel between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank from 15 January.

     

    Since Israel withdrew from Gaza over the summer, the Palestinians have said that their territory will become a "giant prison" if its residents are not allowed regular access to the occupied West Bank.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.