Olmert’s Cave-In is Nearly Complete
Ehud Olmert is selling Israel down the river for a pocketful of empty promises and foolish wishes: Israeli PM orders checkpoints dismantled.
The countdown to the first suicide bombing begins now.
JERUSALEM - Israel’s prime minister on Monday ordered the military to dismantle more than two dozen of the West Bank checkpoints that have disrupted Palestinian travel, as part of a package of gestures Israel hopes will boost Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
After meeting with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, top security officials agreed to remove 27 roadblocks of the hundreds that dot the West Bank, but did not say which would come down.
In a separate meeting, Defense Minister Amir Peretz also told parliament’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that he supports Olmert’s call to release of some of the thousands of Palestinian prisoners Israel holds, even without a deal on freeing an Israeli soldier held by Palestinian militants.
Olmert had previously rejected any prisoner release until Cpl. Gilad Shalit returns home. But since meeting Abbas on Saturday night, Olmert has softened his position.
Israel hopes a prisoner release, as well as easing travel restrictions, would convince the Palestinian public that Abbas is able to deliver them benefits that his militantly anti-Israel Hamas rivals, who control the Palestinian parliament and Cabinet, cannot.