Israel, Palestinians oK Gaza border deal
Updated: 2005-11-15 22:57
Prodded by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Israel and the Palestinians
agreed Tuesday on details for opening the borders of the Gaza Strip and allowing
freer movement for Palestinians elsewhere, a significant step toward an eventual
peace deal between historic enemies.
Veiled Palestinian women attend a rally
demanding the release of Palestinian prisoners held in Israel in the West
Bank town of Qalqilya November 15, 2005. U.S. Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice announced a crucial deal on Gaza border crossings on
Tuesday after brokering marathon talks with Israeli and Palestinian
The agreement, which gives the Palestinians control over a border for the
first time, took all-night negotiations and a strong diplomatic shove from Rice.
The basic elements of the deal had been in the works for weeks.
"I have to say as a football fan, sometimes the last yard is the hardest, and
I think we experienced that today," Rice told a news conference where she
announced the agreement.
She praised the deal at a news conference as a "big step forward" in
Israeli-Palestinian relations, bruised by nearly five years of bloody fighting.
"This agreement is intended to give Palestinian people the freedom to move,
to trade, to live ordinary lives," Rice said.