< /head > Colorado Coalition for Human Rights: Deal Reached on Gaza Borders

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Deal Reached on Gaza Borders

From the Washington Post, after all-night negotiations, Secretary of States Condaleeza Rice helped broker a deal between the Israeli and Palestinian governments. From the article:

After marathon all-night negotiations, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced a comprehensive agreement between the Israeli and the Palestinian governments Tuesday designed to ease the Gaza Strip's isolation by allowing more reliable access for its goods and people to Israel and the outside world.
The deal sets out the terms of operation for Gaza border crossings used to move cargo and people, resolving a deadlock that has frustrated a team of international negotiators for weeks. It also establishes a system of bus convoys to shuttle Palestinians between Gaza and the West Bank, the two territorial components of what is envisioned as a future Palestinian state.

Apparently the Palestinians are somewhat happy with the deal as the article reports the chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat saying, "This is the first time in history we will run an international passage by ourselves and it's the first time Israel does not have a veto over our ability to do so. The most important thing now is to move forward to the airport, the harbor and the convoys to the West Bank. We cannot say Rafah and that's all."

The article also reports it will help the economy of the Palestinians signifigantly as,"The agreement on the Karni crossing is potentially far more economically significant. Hundreds of Palestinians lost jobs on Israeli farms in Gaza, which brought in $100 million a year in revenue. Those former Israeli greenhouses have since been turned over to the Palestinian Authority, but their value relies entirely on the government's ability to export the tomatoes, strawberries, sweet peppers and other produce grown in them."

We'll see how long this works, as Israel is basically allowed to close the border and stop the deal whenever it wants.

Click here to read the full article.

--Tom Hayes


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