Peres reprimands Peretz for contact with Abbas

Vice Premier Shimon Peres said Monday that Defense Minister Amir Peretz should not have had any contact with Palestinian Authority Chairman, Mahmoud Abbas about ending the Kassam rocket fire without consulting with Prime Minster Ehud Olmert. In an interview with Israel Radio, Peres added that any initiation of talks with the Palestinians was obliged to go through the prime minister. On Wednesday Olmert is convening the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee to discuss contacts with the Palestinians. Abbas will meet Monday afternoon in Gaza with Palestinian factions to discuss the mutual cease-fire with Israel. A Palestinian source claimed Abu Mazen received via a third party, guarantees from Israel that the IDF would cease its activities in the Gaza Strip in return for halting rocket fire.