Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon says he has been informed that Russia plans to go ahead with the sale of a controversial weapons system to Syria.
Mr. Sharon told reporters Israel is not happy with the Russian decision. He said his government is in contact with the Russians to try to settle the issue.
Russia is reported planning to sell shoulder-fired SA-18 missiles and larger Iskander-E missiles to Syria.
The Iskander-E would be capable of hitting most of Israel. Israel and the United States have expressed fear that the SA-18 could fall into the hands of Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon.
Syria has said the missiles would not post a threat to Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon says his government has begun coordinating with the Palestinians on Israel's planned withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and part of the West Bank.
Mr. Sharon told reporters in Jerusalem today (Tuesday) that he believes Israel is at a crossroads of peace after his summit last week in Egypt with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. At the summit, the two sides declared a truce after more than four years of bloodshed.
The Israeli prime minister said he hopes the withdrawal from Gaza and four small West Bank settlements will not create a vacuum for militant Islamic groups to fill. That withdrawal is set to be completed at the end of this year.
Meanwhile, the Israeli parliament today began a two-day debate on the withdrawal plan. A final vote is expected Wednesday, with Mr. Sharon's plan assured of getting a majority.