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>PD
>Israel Faxx
>JN Sept. 12, 1997, Vol. 5, No. 168

Rabin's Widow Says Israelis too were "Terrorists"

The widow of assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Leah, says Israelis too were once "terrorists" and should not expect Palestinian President Yasir Arafat to succeed 100 percent at fighting terrorism. Speaking minutes before her meeting with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Rabin said, "I have doubt about how much terrorism can be uprooted. We were also terrorists once and they didn't uproot us and we went on dealing in terrorist activities. Despite all the efforts of all of the British army in the land, we went on with terrorism."


Albright Ends Visits with Arafat and Netanyahu

By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright concludes her visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories Friday morning, after making her most detailed demands on both sides. She called on Israel to take a "time out" from several of its policies, and on the Palestinian Authority to arrest terrorists and their supporters.

Albright returns to autonomous Ramallah Friday to meet with Palestinian students and to see the Palestinian leader, Yasir Arafat, for the second time on this trip. US officials say she is looking for some follow through from their meeting Thursday, where officials say she was encouraged by a new commitment to fight terrorism.

After the meeting, Arafat had strong words for the terrorist groups, calling the terrorists "prisoners of the past" and enemies of the hopes and dreams of the Palestinian people. And he declared that his Autonomy Authority rejects the violence and terrorism they carry out, and will fulfill its responsibilities under the peace accords, which includes fighting terrorism.

But the secretary's most dramatic moment Wednesday came when she addressed the Israeli government during a speech to Israeli students. "Israel should refrain from unilateral acts -- including what Palestinians perceive as the provocative expansion of settlements, land confiscations, home demolitions and confiscation of IDs. We believe that a "time-out" from these kinds of unilateral action will create a climate in which such an accelerated approach can succeed in achieving a final Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement."

Albright said those Israeli policies undermine Palestinian confidence in Israeli intentions. The senior official who spoke later said the United States believes the start of a comprehensive Palestinian war on terror must be followed by such Israeli steps.

Israeli government spokesman David Bar Illan says if there is a terror crackdown many things can be discussed, but he indicated at least one of the steps the United States wants is not likely to be taken. "We're saying categorically that we're not going to freeze building in the settlements."

Bar Illan was particularly adamant about not stopping the controversial east Jerusalem housing project on Har Homa, a key Palestinian demand. But he indicated one thing Israel might do is turn over at least some of the tax revenues due to the Palestinian Authority.


Assad is Next on Albright's Agenda

By Ron Pemstein (VOA-Damascus)

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright completes talks with the Israelis and Palestinians Friday and flies to Damascus for her first meeting with Syrian President Hafez al-Assad, but the prospects for progress are not bright.

If there is a crisis of confidence between the Israelis and Palestinians, there is a crisis of suspicion between the Israelis and Syrians. There have not been formal peace talks between them since March 1996. There has not been an American secretary of state here since April of last year when Warren Christopher shuttled between Jerusalem and Damascus to restore a ceasefire between Israel and Lebanon.

The Israelis suspect Syria is behind the recent renewal of hostilities in Lebanon. The Syrians suspect Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to reverse the previous Israeli government's promises about withdrawal from the Golan Heights accompanied by security arrangements.

A Syrian official says Assad will inquire about any progress Albright was able to make in her talks with Netanyahu and Arafat.

The director of Syria's Second Television Channel, Yayha al-Riedy says he does not hold out much hope for satisfying Israel's request for security guarantees. "Israel expects everybody to guarantee its security, but you know peace brings security. Security does not bring peace. Israel wants everybody to be its policeman just to protect its security. Israel itself should be the policeman and a policeman that believes in peace. So far they have not proven that they want peace and security."


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