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Last Updated: Monday, 8 March, 2004, 13:13 GMT
Straw willing to help Gaza peace
Boy injured in the Gaza raid
Straw said he was shocked by Sunday's deaths
The UK could send monitors to the West Bank and Gaza if there is a settlement between the Israelis and Palestinians, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has said.

He was speaking after meeting Ahmed Qurei, the Palestinian Prime Minister.

Mr Straw refused to discuss the details of any security plan but said Britain would be willing to consider the idea of sending monitors.

He also said he was shocked by the deaths of 14 people in an Israeli raid in the Gaza strip on Sunday.

Agreement needed

Monday's talks were dominated by suggestions that Israel could completely pull out of the Gaza Strip.

The Independent on Sunday newspaper has suggested Britain has offered to send military advisers to Gaza to help Palestinians police the area after an Israeli withdrawal.

Asked about that report as a news conference with Mr Qurei, Mr Straw said: "I do not want to go into detail.

"We're always available to offer what advice we can and of course as part of a longer term solution we would be willing to consider more active use of British monitors.

"But that requires agreements not only with the Palestinians but also with the Israelis."

A mission had begun two years ago on monitoring prisoners in Jericho, he said.

'Cycle of violence'

Mr Straw offered his condolences to the families of those killed on Sunday and said Britain had argued assassinations were unlawful.

The incident reinforced the urgency of getting pack to the peace process, he argued.

The foreign secretary underlined Britain's commitment to the "road map" for peace, saying the choice was between a two-state solution and "more violence and more despair".

There had to be an end to the cycle of violence, which included suicide bombings, he added.

Mr Qurei, who is meeting Tony Blair on Monday afternoon, said Sunday's raids were "killing in cold blood" and demonstrated Israeli "aggression and arrogance".

Both sides had to decide enough was enough and to implement the "road map", he said.




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