Report on Israeli Settlement in the Occupied Territories Vol 4 #5


A little more than one year ago, while secret talks were going on between Israel and the PLO, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin declared that an agreement on “Gaza-Jericho first” would ease the pressure for a solution to Israel’s continuing occupation of the West Bank and Jerusalem.

Gaza-Jericho is now in place. The Israeli army has redeployed in the 15 settlements that still control about 30 percent of the Gaza Strip. And Yasser Arafat has returned to Gaza to oversee the transition to limited Palestinian autonomy–the first short step, he declares, on the road that will lead to Jerusalem.

Israel, however, has its own views on what is to follow in the wake of Gaza-Jericho and how negotiations with the PLO are to be conducted on implementing the Oslo agreement. These views, not surprisingly, are at odds with Arafat’s desire to move quickly beyond Gaza-Jericho, beyond even the restrictive autonomy outlined at Oslo and Cairo.