United Press International (UPI)
January 10, 2009 - 1:00am

GAZA, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Diplomats are proposing that the Palestinian Authority be brought in to govern the area of the Gaza Strip near the border with Egypt, sources say.

The proposal has come up as part of a peace initiative pushed by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, which calls for an immediate cease-fire to be followed by talks on securing the Gaza-Egypt border and reopening its crossings, The Times of London reported Saturday without naming sources.

The newspaper said the plan would enable a return of the Palestinian Authority to a part of Gaza. The ruling Islamist militant group Hamas expelled the internationally recognized secular Palestinian government in 2007. The authority is controlled by Hamas' rival Fatah faction.

The Times said that as part of the Egyptian plan, diplomats are considering taking a triangle at the southern end of Gaza, including the Rafah crossing into Egypt and Kerem Shalom crossing to Israel, and placing it under the nominal control of the PA. The area would be policed by Turkish and French military monitors to stop arms smuggling into Gaza, the newspaper said.

The Times said the effort was being bogged down because of disagreements with Hamas, which opposes an international force.


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