From AP via ABC News:
JERUSALEM “” The first Palestinian-Israeli summit in four months failed to propel peace prospects forward or solidify a shaky truce, leaving main issues unresolved and both sides disappointed.
The meeting Tuesday started with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon scolding Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas for an upsurge in Palestinian violence. The chilly atmosphere never warmed.
The summit was supposed to kick off an effort to work together to ensure Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza this summer proceeds smoothly and peacefully. But the frosty meeting itself raised doubts as to whether the leaders can work together on the pullout, much less on further peace moves.
The sticking points illuminated in the Debka file are:
1. United Egyptian-Palestinian Front
The Israeli prime minister was presented with a solid Palestinian-Egyptian front. The Palestinians refused to cooperate in the Israeli pull-out as long as Israel did not surrender to Egypt’s demands for its deployment on the Philadelphi border strip…
2. Egypt wants a naval base in N. Sinai’s El Arish
According to DEBKAfile’s military sources, the Egyptians have upped their price for collaborating in Israel’s disengagement from Gaza: now they want a naval base for missile boats in el Arish on the Mediterranean shore of northern Sinai. This would contravene the 1979 Egyptian Israeli peace treaty, as would their earlier demands for armored personnel carriers (instead of tanks), military helicopters and anti-tank missile emplacements to be posted along their border with southern Israel.
3. Palestinians want rehabilitation while keeping refugee status
The Palestinians have also laid down conditions for accepting the rehousing program offered Gaza refugees by Middle East Quartet coordinator James Wolfensohn at a cost of $3 bn in international funds. They insist on keeping their refugee status and assistance from UNRWA even after they are resettled. The point of this is that it would perpetuate the Palestinian refugee problem as a permanent political lever.
4. The Palestinians want more land — now
The Abbas team told Sharon that the removal of four Jewish communities from the northern West Bank this August is not enough; Israel military bases must also be withdrawn. In the current stage of violent mayhem in the northern West Bank, Israel cannot afford to relinquish its military presence opposite its main population and industrial heartland. The Palestinians however insist on full sovereignty over the northern West Bank as well as the Gaza Strip. By this device, they would acquire extra territory twice the area of Gaza without give-and-take peace talks.
5. Fresh European-Palestinian campaign against defense barrier
Abbas has ordered Palestinian FM Nasser al-Kidwe to sit down with an EU official and draw up international campaign number 2 against Israel’s security barrier. It would begin after Israel completes its pull-backs and feature a new complaint to the International Court at the Hague.