Israel, PA consider int'l force at Karni

Israel positive over US proposal but won't take steps until Shalit returned.

karni crossing 298 88 ap (photo credit: AP [file])
karni crossing 298 88 ap
(photo credit: AP [file])
Israel and the Palestinian Authority are deliberating over an international observers force that may be stationed at the Gaza Strip's Karni Crossing, it was reported on Monday. The plan for 90 peacekeepers to deploy at Karni was presented to Defense Minister Amir Peretz and PA government officials by US Security Coordinator in the West Bank and Gaza, Maj. Gen. Keith Dayton, on Friday. Gen. Dayton suggested widening both sides of the crossing and implementing a buffer zone, which would assist in the transfer of cargo between the Gaza Strip and Israel. Dayton claimed that the go-between-zone would require monitoring by an international force, suggesting an observers force be set up to include 90 peacekeepers. Palestinian officials said that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas had approved the proposal. Israel has agreed to the plan in principle, but declined to take any further steps until Hamas returned kidnapped soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit and ensured Palestinian terrorists halt the firing of rockets into southern Israel from the Gaza Strip.