Home>News Center>World

Israel, Palestinians agree to form panel
Updated: 2005-02-02 17:24

Israel and the Palestinians plan to form a committee to decide which Palestinian fugitives will no longer be hunted by Israeli security forces, a senior Israeli Defense Ministry official said Wednesday.

The official, Amos Gilad, told Israel's Army Radio that Cabinet ministers are set to approve formation of the panel later this week. The committee is to include members of the Israeli military and security service, and Palestinian officials.

Israel won't go after Palestinian fugitives who hand in their weapons and sign a written pledge not to carry out attacks against Israeli targets, Gilad said. Any fugitive who violates the pledge will again become a target, he added.

Israel has vigorously pursued fugitives during four years of fighting, killing or arresting hundreds, and the Palestinian Authority estimates the Israelis are chasing about 300 more. Fugitives are one of the most sensitive issues in current truce talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has said repeatedly he would not confront the militants, but prefers to co-opt them. One idea for dealing with the fugitives is to fold them into Palestinian security forces.

Gilad brushed off criticism that ending the hunt for fugitives would be tantamount to pardoning Palestinians responsible for killing Israelis.

"We have to include all the fugitives who stop being active. ... We are not talking about pardoning," Gilad said. "If they return to terror and if the attacks and the murders continue, then in the end we will return to a different type of vigorous activity."

Referring to the relative quiet that has prevailed in the area in recent weeks, Gilad added, "There is an opportunity here that must be exploited. All quiet is built on understandings."

  Today's Top News     Top World News

China shares snap six-day losing streak, up 5.35%



Meningitis outbreak 'Controllable'



All eyes on China at G7 meeting in London



IPR disputes highlight absence of law



Was 'abducted' US soldier in Iraq a toy?



Pope hospitalized for breathing problems


  AP: Videos show Guantanamo prisoner abuse
  Iran seeks accelerated talks with Europe
  Abu Ghraib guard pleads guilty in abuse
  CIA rectifying prewar estimates on Iraq WMD
  Was 'abducted' US soldier in Iraq a toy?
  Leftist rebels kill 14 Colombian soldiers
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  Related Stories  
New Gaza violence strains de facto truce
Palestinian police deploy in Gaza Strip
Palestinians to deploy forces to halt attacks
  News Talk  
  Are the Republicans exploiting the memory of 9/11?