OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- Ehud Olmert, the Israeli premier, has told the American envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell that the PA leadership in Ramallah led by Mahmoud Abbas, the former PA chief, should return to rule the Gaza Strip.
An Israeli official quoted Olmert as saying that following the Israeli war on Gaza the Hamas authority should be eliminated and the PA in Ramallah should restore power in the Strip.
Olmert also told Mitchell that permanent opening of all Gaza crossings was hinged on releasing the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who is held captive in Gaza by Palestinian resistance factions.
The Israeli premier said that the ceasefire that went into effect as of 18/1/2009 would be evaluated in accordance with the halt in firing of locally made rockets on Israeli targets and a halt to the smuggling of weapons. He said that if Hamas fired