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>PD
>Israel Faxx
>JN April 10, 1997, Vol. 5, Number 64

Funeral for Slain Palestinian Spawns New Clashes

By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)

Several-thousand Palestinians marched in a funeral procession Wednesday in Hebron for one of the three young men killed Tuesday in clashes with Israelis. After the funeral, new clashes broke out, leaving dozens of Palestinians and several Israeli soldiers injured.

The protesters chanted for revenge and said it is time to put down the olive branch of peace and take up the weapons of war. They marched behind the flag-shrouded body of 24-year-old Naidr a-Said, who was shot in the eye during a clash with Israeli troops Tuesday, after an Israeli student had killed another Palestinian. Palestinian police gave a-Said a 21-gun salute.

Afterwards, mourners, and activists broke through Palestinian police lines and pelted Israeli troops with rocks and firebombs -- as Palestinians have done almost daily for three weeks -- to protest Israeli construction of a new Jewish neighborhood in east Jerusalem. The troops responded with tear gas and gunfire, apparently using rubber bullets and rubber-coated metal bullets.

The special bullets are designed to wound rather than to kill. But they can kill if they hit a particularly vulnerable part of the body, as happened in Tuesday's deaths from head and chest wounds. Palestinians say the army is using metal bullets, but the army denies it.

Meanwhile, a high-ranking Palestinian delegation traveled to Amman for talks with Jordanian officials en route to meetings in Washington. President Clinton asked the Palestinian Authority to send the delegation as a follow-up to his meeting Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Delegation member and senior negotiator Sa'eb Erakat says the Palestinians were not happy about defiant statements made by Netanyahu after the meeting, but they are interested in hearing about US mediation plans, as long as certain criteria are met.

"The Americans have indicated that they might (have) an initiative, and we want to cooperate, with the ingredients that are required to ensure the success of this initiative -- mainly, the immediate cessation of all Israeli unilateral actions, especially settlements building, confiscation of land, fait accompli policies and that the permanent status negotiations must go side-by-side, parallel, with the implementation of the interim agreement's outstanding commitments and issues."

Most of those conditions are not acceptable to Netanyahu, particularly the key Palestinian demand for a freeze on building in east Jerusalem and in Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza. And he has a demand of his own -- an end to the violence. The US mediators who will meet with the Palestinian delegation today are trying to get the peace process going again by bridging that substantial gap.


Albright Invites Palestinian Leaders

By Ron Pemstein (VOA-State Department)

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has been speaking to moderate Arab leaders about keeping lines of communication open to Israel as she prepares to meet a Palestinian delegation to discuss a renewal of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

Albright and Middle East negotiator Dennis Ross plan to pass on American ideas for resuming negotiations to Palestinian advisers Sa'eb Erakat and Abu Mazin. They will follow up on the talks Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held here on Monday.

The White House says President Clinton is available to meet the Palestinian delegation -- but there is nothing on his schedule at the moment. Clinton did meet Netanyahu for what he described as a long, frank and candid conversation -- the usual (diplomatic) description of an argument. For his part, the Israeli leader said the White House talk was nothing formal, nothing definitive.

Still the Clinton administration is trying to demonstrate a sense of motion with the talks.


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