TEL AVIV, Israel, July 27 (UPI) -- The Israeli army is planning to withdraw from the narrow strip it holds between the Palestinian Gaza Strip and Egypt, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said.
The withdrawal from that strip, which the Israelis call the Philadelphi Route, is expected by Oct. 1, Ha'aretz reported.
The plan calls for Egypt to send 750 better-trained and -equipped troops to their side of the border with Gaza to prevent arms smuggling.
The head of the Defense Ministry political-security department, Amos Gilad, is scheduled to have another round of talks in Egypt to iron out remaining details. The final agreement has been delayed for several months, Ha'aretz said.
The newspaper noted that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said several days ago if an agreement is reached with Egypt, the army would withdraw from the Philadelphi Route in the beginning of October.
The pullback would follow the evacuation of settlements -- scheduled to be completed during September -- and the evacuation of army bases expected in early October.