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ARABS-ISRAEL - July 15 - Israel Rejects Land Exchanges.



Israeli government rejects the idea of land exchanges with the PA, a concept that was discussed seriously during the failed peace talks at Camp David Camp David, U.S. presidential retreat, located in Catoctin Mountain Park (see National Parks and Monuments, table), in NW Md. The Camp David accords, the terms of a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, were established (1978) at this site; other negotiations and  in 2000. The cabinet decides to build several new towns in the Halutza Sands region, a part of the Negev that lies near the Gaza Strip Gaza Strip (gäz`ə), (2003 est. pop. 1,330,000) rectangular coastal area, c.140 sq mi (370 sq km), SW Asia, on the Mediterranean Sea adjoining Egypt and Israel, in what was formerly SW Palestine.  and along Israel's border with Egypt. (At Camp David, PM Sharon's predecessor, Ehud Barak, proposed to Arafat that the PA took control of Halutza Sands, which is part of Israel proper. In return, they would agree to Israel's annexation of the West Bank areas containing the heaviest concentrations of Jewish settlers. The PA, while endorsing such an exchange in principle, rejected the proposal out of hand. It did not like the quality of the land - about 200 sq km of desert - and could not accept the idea of giving up appreciably ap·pre·cia·ble  
adj.
Possible to estimate, measure, or perceive: appreciable changes in temperature. See Synonyms at perceptible.
 more territory than it was offered). PM Sharon is quoted by Yediot Ahronot as saying: "No Zionist government will decide to transfer state land to a foreign element". The decision to build an unspecified number of towns in the Halutza Sands area is aimed at "spreading the population" by developing an uninhabited part of the Negev (and in the process ignoring objections from Israeli environmentalists who want to keep Halutza Sands as a nature reserve). But the practical effect is to tell the PA that there will be no yielding of pre-1967 Israeli land by this government, especially since Arafat insists on a Palestinian "right of return". Sharon spokesman Raanan Gissin Raanan Gissin is an Israeli analyst that specializes in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

He was senior adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and a frequent spokesman for the Israeli government on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox.
 says: "The prime minister made no secret that he doesn't intend to allow the right of return of Palestinians to sovereign Israel. We are willing to make compromises within the territories, not within Israel". But a senior PA official Nabil Shaath Nabil Shaath (Arabic: نبيل شعث) (also spelled Sha'ath, born 1938), a senior Palestinian official, has held the following titles:
  • Palestinian chief negotiator
  • Palestinian cabinet minister
 says the Israeli action shows that Sharon will "challenge any Israeli idea that shows flexibility in negotiating with the Palestinians". (The Israeli move comes the same day when FM Peres meets with Arafat in Cairo in a search for an end to the violence. He says: "All the stories that we want to go back to the territories, to dismantle dis·man·tle  
tr.v. dis·man·tled, dis·man·tling, dis·man·tles
1.
a. To take apart; disassemble; tear down.

b.
 the Palestinian Authority Palestinian Authority (PA) or Palestinian National Authority, interim self-government body responsible for areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip under Palestinian control.  or to affect the position of Arafat are total nonsense").
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Publication:APS Diplomat Recorder
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:7ISRA
Date:Jul 21, 2001
Words:367
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