Newsletter : 6fax1122.txt
| Previous file
| Next file
>>PD Nov. 22, 1996, Vol. 4, No. 213
Shelter for Arafat
Yasir Arafat is building a shelter that will protect him from
nuclear and chemical bombs. The four-story underground shelter is
being built in Gaza. IDF soldiers have reported that they have seen
large quantities of cement being transported to Gaza.
Why is Arafat Procrastinating?
By Al Pessin (VOA-jerusalem)
Israel and the Palestinians traded conflicting assessments of the
status of their peace talks Thursday, with Israel saying agreement
is near and a senior Palestinian official saying Israel's new
government wants nothing but confrontation.
Israel Radio says the talks are down to one issue -- Israel's
demand for the right of free access for its security forces to
Palestinian-controlled parts of Hebron.
Israeli officials accuse the Palestinians of rejecting reasonable
offers on that, and other issues believed to still be in dispute.
But on Thursday the Palestinian leader, Yasir Arafat, blamed Israel
for the deadlock, saying it raises new obstacles in every meeting.
One of his negotiators, Information Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo,
accuses Israel of blocking every possible compromise.
"We feel that the Israeli government is looking only for one
alternative, that is the confrontation. They don't want a solution
in Hebron or anywhere else."
Abed Rabbo says the Palestinians will respond with all means at
their disposal, but he would not specify exactly what that means.
Many Palestinian analysts, and some in Israel, are concerned there
could be more violence if there is not significant progress in the
peace process soon.
Arafat May Declare Independence
Security and military sources are apprehensive that Yasir
Arafat is not interested in signing an agreement concerning Hebron,
and would rather declare an independent Palestinian state. Our
reporter Haggai Huberman has learned that Arafat does not believe
that Benjamin Netanyahu intends to continue the implementation of
the Oslo Agreement after the Hebron redeployment, and therefore
prefers to act towards gaining international recognition for the
declaration of a Palestinian state.
According to the sources, this is the only explanation for Arafat's
"strange behavior" of the last two weeks in refusing to sign the
Hebron redeployment agreement even after the two delegations had
already come to an agreement. It is feared in Israeli circles that
Arafat will make a tour of world capitals, where he will explain
that Netanyahu has violated the Oslo accords in not withdrawing
from Hebron, and therefore he (Arafat) sees himself free of the
agreements, and would like to declare independence.
Though declaring independence constitutes a blatant violation of
the Oslo Accords, it is feared that it would cause a very
unpleasant diplomatic situation for Israel.
Chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Uzi
Landau, speaking with Arutz-7, called upon the prime minister to
make it clear to Arafat that if he declares a Palestinian state in
the autonomous regions, Israel will immediately impose Israeli
sovereignty over the administered territories still under Israeli
Jewish Senator Visits Assad
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)
A senior US senator carried messages between Jerusalem and Damascus
Wednesday and Thursday, and ended his visit to the area calling for
an Israel-Syria summit at the White House.
Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) says he carried messages of reassurance
between Syrian President Hafez al-Assad and Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu. Each side has been concerned about military
movements and strong statements from the other, in spite of earlier
assurances of no hostile intent.
Specter says now that issue has been dealt with, it is up to
President Clinton to make a dramatic move to get the Israel-Syria
peace talks started again. "President Clinton should invite both
Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Assad to the Oval Office to
continue the peace process."
Specter says Assad is "disinclined" to attend such a meeting, but
the senator says he believes Assad would go anyway if Clinton
invited him. The senator believes Netanyahu would also attend.
But he also reports that Assad still insists that the talks resume
from the point where he left off with Israel's previous
government, something Netanyahu refuses to do.
(All material on these web pages is © 2001-2012
by Electronic World Communications, Inc.)