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Latest Headline Briefs from Israel - July 26, 2001

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Latest Headline Briefs from Israel - July 26, 2001

Israeli and Palestinian security chiefs met last night under CIA mediation, but the meeting broke down after 90 minutes amid angry accusations by both sides. The Palestinians infuriated Israel by presenting a list of 30 alleged Jewish militants who they claim were responsible for attacks against Arabs. Israel refused to accept the list, and officials asked why the Palestinians had not arrested dozens of Islamic terrorists on a list presented previously to them. On another issue, Palestinian intelligence chief Amin al-Hindi said he did not see the point in continuing the regular talks as long as Israel continues its "policy of assassinations." Earlier in the day, Israel had targeted and killed a leading Hamas terrorist in Palestinian-ruled Nablus. Thousands of Palestinians participated in the terrorist’s funeral today, vowing that more suicide bombers are prepared to attack Israel. "There are hundreds more, there are a million," the crowd chanted, as gunmen fired into the air.

Violence remains at a relatively low level, but there are still daily incidents. Yesterday evening, about 40 Jewish residents were demonstrating in Gaza against Palestinian shooting attacks, when Arab gunmen opened fire in their direction. A soldier and a civilian were wounded. In response, two Israeli bulldozers and two tanks leveled a nearby Palestinian post and gas station. A Palestinian policemen was shot in the hand during the demolition. Later in Samaria, Israeli undercover forces arrested seven members of Yasser Arafat’s Fatah group, which has been leading the uprising. Five were released and two remained in custody on suspicion of terrorist activity.

The US House of Representatives has passed a measure calling on President George W. Bush to impose sanctions on the PLO if it fails to comply with a commitment to renounce terrorism. The provision is part of a $15.2 billion foreign aid bill passed by the House but which still must be approved by the Senate. The provision, which Bush can waive on national security grounds, calls for sanctions against the PLO if the President determines non-compliance. The sanctions include one of the following for at least six months: the closure of the Palestinian information office in Washington, designation of the PLO as a terrorist organization, or limitation of humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian Authority. While the anti-PLO provision marks traditional, strong US support for Israel in Congress, the escape clause it gives the President means that sanctions will probably never be imposed. America’s need to maintain the role of "honest broker" would not give Bush the freedom to punish the PLO, even though the administration is well aware that Yasser Arafat has not kept his commitment to renounce terrorism. Under the foreign aid bill, military assistance to Israel will total $2.04 billion, an increase of $60 million.

Israeli doves and Palestinian intellectuals and political figures have signed a declaration calling for an end to 10 months of bloodshed and a return to peace talks. The 51 signatories included three former Israeli cabinet ministers, three Palestinian ministers and other prominent politicians, academics and peace activists. It was the first such document signed by representatives of both sides since the Palestinian uprising began last September. "We know that our efforts will not be enough to end the violence. We are not naive...[but] we wanted to establish a common denominator between us," said former Israeli Cabinet Minister Yossi Beilin, a Labor Party member and architect of the failed Olso Accords. Beilin spoke at a news conference, alongside Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi and Palestinian Information Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo. "This document was reached to prove that there are different voices from the voice of extremism...that there is an alternative to violence," Ashrawi said. The document said mistakes had been made by both sides and that trading accusations would not lead to serious engagement. It reiterated the solution was to return to talks on a "two-state solution." The declaration also called for the immediate and full implementation of the Mitchell Report, which calls for a cease-fire, confidence building measures including a freeze on Israeli settlement activity, and finally peace talks. Beilin is one of the few remaining voices in the so-called Israeli "peace camp," which has been all but decimated by 10 months of Palestinian violence and terror.

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Worthy Christian News » Israel-Palestinian Conflict » Latest Headline Briefs from Israel - July 26, 2001

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Worthy Christian News » Israel-Palestinian Conflict » Latest Headline Briefs from Israel - July 26, 2001