Mofaz reaches truce on Rafah tiff with Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee

February 9, 2006 00:53

On a day full of complaints over Israel's security forces, Minister of Defense Shaul Mofaz lashed back at the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee for "mixing politics and security." The committee had accused Mofaz of misleading it over the agreement reached between Israeli, Palestinian and Egyptian officials regarding the Rafah Crossing. "I never misled the committee," Mofaz was quoted as saying during the meeting. "I respect this committee, but they used their positions as members of this committee inappropriately. They made the issue political." The committee members openly apologized to Mofaz after he produced a signed promise to provide the committee with copies of the Rafah agreement within 24 hours. In previous months, committee chairman Yuval Steinitz (Likud) had said that Mofaz's failure to provide information regarding the agreement was the "most serious case of deception there has ever been in the Knesset." For nearly three months, the committee has asked for a copy of the agreement that had been negotiated through US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The committee was repeatedly told that it could not view the text of the agreement because it was "top secret," said Steinitz.

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