Newsletter : 6fax1213.txt
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>PD Dec. 13, 1996. Vol.4, No. 226
Israelis Grieve as Tzurs are Buried
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)
Thousands of Israelis Thursday attended the funeral at a settlement
on the West Bank of a woman and her son killed Wednesday in a
drive-by shooting. Israeli and Palestinian officials condemned the
attack and pledged to find and punish the killers, and to continue
the peace process -- although with different ideas in mind.
An emotional Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told thousands of
mourners at the funeral of 42-year-old Etta Tzur and her
12-year-old son Ephraim their sacrifice will never be forgotten.
Netanyahu promised Yoel Tzur his late wife and son will be
remembered through every new road and house Israel builds in the
West Bank. He said Israel will respond to the shooting by
devoting more resources to ensuring that Jews will continue to
live and be secure in Palestinian areas. He also pledged to find
the attackers and punish them.
Netanyahu also said his right-wing government will continue to
pursue what he called "a true peace" in which the Palestinian
Authority is forced to live up to its commitments. Defense
Minister Yitzhak Mordechai says such attacks could be avoided if
the Palestinian Authority took more decisive action against
terrorist groups. But Palestinian officials say they are doing all
they can and no one can guarantee absolute security.
The official Palestinian news service issued a statement blaming
the attack on "suspicious elements," adding that the shooting hurt
the interests of the Palestinian people and the negotiating stance
of the Palestinian Authority. The statement says the incident will
give Israel an excuse to further delay implementation of the peace
Some Israelis complained that the Palestinian statement did not
come directly from the Palestinian leader, Yasir Arafat. But
Arafat's media adviser, Nabil abu Irdeineh, says the statement does
reflect the leader's views, and that the Palestinian security
services have been ordered to make every possible effort to find
the killers. And abu Irdeineh says Israel also has a role to play
in reducing Palestinian anger and frustration over the slow pace of
the peace process.
The gunmen who took part in Wednesday's killings are believed to
have fled into autonomous Ramallah, but the Palestinian Authority
says if they are caught, they will not be extradited. Rather,
officials say, the men will be punished through the Palestinian
Israeli officials say that is not acceptable. Netanyahu ordered
Ramallah closed, and placed a curfew on a nearby village. Israeli
security officers are working with the Palestinian police to try to
find the killers.
Settler leaders and right wing Israeli politicians have called for
an expansion of settlements in response to the killings, and say
they might take some action toward that end in the next few days.
Surviving Children Still Hospitalized
Five of the Tzur children, wounded in the Palestinian terrorist
attack, are still hospitalized in Jerusalem's Hadassah-Ein Karem
Hospital. Their status is now off the seriously wounded list. The
father, Yoel Tzur, called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to
immediately allow the building of a new neighborhood in Bet-El. He
said, "the distance between the Oslo Accords and peace is as the
distance between the earth and the sun."
Defense Ministry Blames PFLP for Terrorist Attack
Defense Ministry officials say that it was terrorists belonging to
the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) of George
Habash (members of the PLO) who are responsible for the terrorist
attack near Bet-El.
Arutz Sheva's correspondent points out that in recent years,
Israeli Security Forces have been unable to capture even one PFLP
terrorist who has carried out terrorist attacks in the areas of
Binyamin and Samaria. According to Israeli intelligence reports, a
number of the murderers are located in Jericho, another city under
the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority; to date, none have
been extradited, despite repeated formal requests by Israel.
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