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

    Death from above: Every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Death from above: Every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    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.

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.