Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon drew fire from Israel's main US ally and all sides in the Middle East yesterday for a pledge to sever Israelis from Palestinians within months if peace talks fail. \nThe plan would deny Palestinians land they want for a state and keep them behind a controversial barrier through the West Bank, but also involve shifting Jewish settlers away from Palestinian population centers to shorten security lines. \nThe US, Palestinians and Israeli doves condemned the threat of breaking with the US-backed "road map" for reciprocal measures leading to a Palestinian state by 2005. \nThe pro-settler right attacked talk of uprooting settlers, exploding the decades-old commitment of Sharon's Likud party to holding onto territory seized in the 1967 war. \nIsrael Radio reported that Sharon would visit Washington next month to present his "Disengagement Plan" to US President George W. Bush, though the prime minister's officials said no trip to the US had been scheduled yet. \nThe White House had condemned Sharon's warning that Israel was ready to go-it-alone in a major policy speech on Thursday and urged him to meet Palestinian counterpart Ahmed Qureia for talks on reviving the road map. \n"We don't think it's best at this point to be discussing now what to do if progress is not made because we're staying focused working with the parties to achieve progress on the road map," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said. \nSharon gave no precise timetable for the separation moves, but said the Palestinians had to quickly "uproot terrorist groups" if they did not want Israel to impose a solution and wind up with less land than they could through negotiations. \n"There should be no doubt that this plan will be implemented within a few months if it is made clear within a short time that the Palestinians are not ready to return to negotiations and work in accordance with the road map," Sharon told the Israeli Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper yesterday. \nHe said that whatever the case, work would be speeded on the huge barrier that Israel is building through the West Bank to keep out suicide bombers. Palestinians call the obstacle of wire and concrete an attempt to annex land. \nIsraeli opposition leader Shimon Peres blasted Sharon's plan yesterday, suggesting that he had made the road map impossible. \nAt the other end of the political spectrum, the head of the YESHA council representing Jewish settlers called Sharon's plan "the destruction of Zionism" and said his coalition would face problems the moment it tried to remove settlements. \n"I think he will be without a government and I think his plans will not be able to be carried out in the end," Benzi Lieberman told Army Radio. \nQureia, a moderate, said on Thursday he was disappointed with the Sharon's "threat" and urged negotiations. A meeting between the two has been in the pipeline for weeks. \nIslamic factions sworn to Israel's destruction and at the forefront of a suicide bombing campaign said they could see nothing new in Sharon's speech or any suggestion that it would bring peace.
SAFETY RISK: The government is working to categorize countries based on their COVID-19 cases and prevention efforts, which would determine quarantine periods The government plans to rank countries based on their COVID-19 risks to determine how to treat tourists and other travelers from those nations once Taiwan reopens its borders, but it is still working out the categories, a top health official told lawmakers yesterday. “We would divide countries around the world into several categories. One category would comprise those countries with very few confirmed COVID-19 cases, such as New Zealand and Palau. Travelers from the countries in this category would only need to practice self-health management,” Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) told a Legislative Yuan seminar hosted by
China would attack Taiwan if there is no other way of stopping it from becoming independent, Chinese General Li Zuocheng (李作成) said yesterday. Speaking at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on the 15th anniversary of China’s “Anti-Secession” Law, Li, who is chief of the Joint Staff Department of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Central Military Commission, left the door open to using force. The 2005 law is China’s legislative basis for military action against Taiwan. “If the possibility for peaceful reunification is lost, the people’s armed forces will, with the whole nation, including the people of Taiwan, take all necessary steps to
SECURITY CONCERNS: The Telecom Technology Center ran black-box tests for the Executive Yuan on devices and software from Chinese, US and South Korean firms Network devices from several Chinese manufacturers are insecure and allow personal information to be leaked, testing commissioned by the Executive Yuan has shown. A variety of devices and software, including apps, from Chinese, US and South Korean manufacturers that are used by government agencies at the central and local level were subjected to black-box testing — in which the functionality of an application is examined without knowing about its internal structure, an information-security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The Telecom Technology Center conducted the tests, which simulated cyberattacks, to determine their resilience to the attacks, the official said. The center
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