Newsletter : 5fax0210.txt
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>PD Feb. 10, 1995, V3, #29
NATO Tightens Relations with Middle East Countries
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will tighten its
relations with five Middle East states as part of efforts to combat
Islamic fundamentalism and curb arms proliferation, According to
Ha'Aretz, the five countries are Israel, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia
Rabin and Arafat: Crisis in a Relationship
By Al Pessin (Erez Checkpoint)
A meeting between the top Israeli and Palestinian leaders broke up
with the peace process apparently in something of a crisis
Thursday. Both sides admit they have serious differences over
several key issues.
The meeting ended without the traditional joint news conference.
The Palestinian leader, Yasir Arafat, walked quickly to his car
without comment but his information minister Yasser Abed Rabbo told
reporters there are serious problems.
"I think it is a crisis, but the only thing that we hope will
enable us to overcome it is that each side will study and
reevaluate the situation and the position of the other side."
Abed Rabbo said the differences center on what he called "major
issues" including plans to expand Palestinian autonomy and
withdraw Israeli troops from more of the West Bank. Security
arrangements, Palestinian prisoners held by Israel and the
current Israeli closure of the Palestinian territories were also
The closure was imposed three weeks ago after a double suicide
bombing near Tel Aviv killed 21 Israelis. The Palestinian
information minister said there is also disagreement on what he
called the continuation of the peace process.
But speaking later, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin denied the
peace process is in crisis. He described the problem as one of
"Israel sees the terror as the most dangerous obstacle on the road
for implementation of the Declaration of Principles. On the
Palestinian side, of course, the major issue is what they consider
the lack of progress in the negotiations for the purpose of the
implementation of the declaration beyond Gaza and Jericho. I am
not trying to say that there were no differences but by no
means will I describe it as a crisis or a stop in the talks between
When Arafat came to this stark compound of concrete buildings on
the edge of his Gaza Strip, he found his Israeli counterpart,
Rabin, wanting more before he will agree to implement the next
stage of the peace accord -- expansion of the Palestinian
"What we look to be done by the Palestinian authority in the areas
under their control is, first, to make sure that there is only one
law enforcement force that carry arms in the area under their
control. Second, to use these law enforcement forces to maintain
law and order in these areas. Three, to make sure to foil any
attempt to organize terror activities and to pursue in a serious
way those who have carried them out.
A member of Rabin's negotiating team, Yossi Sarid, said the closure
cannot be lifted now because Israel has information about more
planned terrorist attacks. Officials say the two sides will
review their positions, hold consultations during the next few
days and Rabin and Arafat will meet again next week.
On Wednesday, Arafat issued a statement about the establishment of
state security courts. We would like (to) see not only
declarations, but implementation. For the Palestinians, that meant
Later, at his headquarters in Gaza City, Arafat said he will not
accept it if Israel wants to lock the Palestinians inside Gaza and
the West Bank and, in his words, "hold the keys to the big prison."
Some observers have been marveling at Arafat's willingness to
continue meeting with Rabin, and to allow lower level talks
to proceed, while the closure goes on -- hurting Palestinians
economically and damaging his political standing.
Palestinian Autonomy Cracks Down on Militants
By Al Pessin (Jerusalem)
The Palestinian Autonomy Authority widened its crackdown on
militant groups which oppose its peace accord with Israel,
arresting more than 100 alleged members of organizations
which have attacked Israelis in recent months.
Palestinian police arrested more alleged members of the
Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which claimed
responsibility for the killing of an Israeli security guard in
Gaza this week. But this time, the police also added people
allegedly connected to Islamic Jihad, one of the most active
groups in attacking Israelis.
Israeli forces also rounded up militants early Wednesday. News
reports say at least 21 alleged activists of Islamic Jihad and
another group, Hamas, were apprehended in five West Bank towns.
But a senior Hamas leader says such arrests will not deter his
group. In an interview in Gaza, Raja Sorani said Hamas is not
interested in protecting the peace process because the process
will not achieve the group's goals. Sorani says Hamas wants all
of the occupied territory turned over to a Palestinian state,
including east Jerusalem, and without any Israeli settlers. He
says the Israeli-Palestinian accord reached in Oslo, Norway a
year-and-a-half ago will never deliver that, and also will never
deliver what Israel wants.
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