Report: Israel may "withdraw" from unoccupied Jericho

So Sharon is off to the US for one of this regular chats with Bush, and it seems that Israel is under "pressure" from the US to make "goodwill" humanitarian gestures to the Palestinians. One of these important, heartwarming moves is to withdraw the Israeli army from some Palestinian cities:
Mofaz is scheduled to meet Palestinian Security Affairs Minister Mohammed Dahlan toward the end of the week to discuss handing over the two cities. The PA asked that one of them be Ramallah, the center of Palestinian rule in the West Bank. The U.S. has expressed understanding for this request but Israel disagrees and will probably hand over Qalqiliyah and Jericho.
Touching. The problem, though, as the Independent points out, is that Jericho is not under Israeli control - clearly a prerequisite for "withdrawing" from it or "handing it over" to the Palestinians:
The idea of a withdrawal from Jericho is laughable: the Israeli army never reoccupied the city and has not been inside it. It is in Jericho that Palestinian police train to take over in the other cities when the army hands them back.
Other "gestures" are equally hollow and are designed simply for American consumption:
...the Israeli army's "withdrawal" from Bethlehem three weeks ago was purely cosmetic, since soldiers were not inside the city, and did little to change the lives of Palestinians.... the only change was that Palestinian police were allowed back on to the streets. The army continues to encircle the city.
The strategy seen here underpins Israel's hold on the West Bank: as long as there are no Israeli soldiers actually inside Palestinian population centers, then it can be said that the Palestinians are not "under occupation". The Israelis will continue to dispense with the 98% of the rest of the West Bank land as they see fit. The idea that Palestinians, like other human beings, need more land than what they are standing on at the moment to live their lives is of no consequence.

Goodwill, indeed.

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