Tags: Barak | Arafat | Issue | Identical | Statement | Reduce | Violence

Barak, Arafat to Issue Identical Statement to Reduce Violence

Thursday, 02 November 2000 12:00 AM

The two are expected to make their statements over their respective radio and television stations at 2 p.m. local time, Israeli officials reported.

The head of Barak's bureau, Gilad Sher, said both sides were finalizing technical details following an agreement between former Israeli former Prime Minister Shimon Perez and Arafat in Gaza late Wednesday night. Sher said the agreement provides for arrangements that are "more or less the conditions [agreed upon at last month's] Sharm el-Sheikh summit meeting but their implementation and enforcement will be more stringent."

Sher stressed that Israel made no further commitments.

"The intention was to reach an understanding over the way that we can end the violence and the cycle of violence," he said.

"At least on paper it was achieved," he added.

Senior Israeli commanders have already met their Palestinian counterparts in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and Israel has pulled back tanks near some, but not all, Palestinian cities.

A military spokesman said the level of violence has decreased somewhat, but clashes continued in several places. Near the village of Hizmeh in the West Bank a 15-year-old boy was killed. Palestinians there stoned soldiers who retaliated with tear gas and rubber-coated steel pellets, the army spokesman reported.

Near Deir El Balah in the Gaza Strip, Palestinians said, at least 10 boys were shot and wounded when dozens of them threw stones at the Israeli soldiers.

An Israel Radio reporter at the Karni crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip said the Israelis had handed over a position to some 30 Palestinian policemen. However, the policemen did not stop hundreds of youngsters from coming up to the Israelis, as close as 50 meters away, and hurling stones. The reporter said he saw Palestinian policemen distribute water to the rioters.

Palestinian Minister of Cooperation Nabil Shaath said the Palestinians agreed to a cease-fire after Israel showed a commitment to implement the agreement that was reached in October in Egypt. He said the Palestinians insisted that the Israelis should move their forces to locations occupied before Sept. 28, the day the current spate of clashes started.

A Palestinian radio reporter said that Israeli soldiers pulled back their tanks and evacuated several locations from Karni commercial passage on the eastern border between Gaza and Israeli.

Ziad Abu Eyin, a senior commander of Arafat's Fatah movement in the West Bank, which has been in the forefront of the unrest, told Israel Radio that his group would decide on the steps it would take only after an announcement from Arafat. He said he had received no word from Arafat on a cease-fire.

Meanwhile, hundreds of mourners buried five Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers during Wednesday's clashes between Israeli soldiers and armed Palestinian men and stone throwers. Palestinian medical sources said that two other Palestinian men from Gaza died of wounds suffered Wednesday.

If there is a cease-fire, the announcement could mark an end to Israeli-Palestinian violence that has resulted in the deaths of more than 160 people, more than 140 of those Palestinian.

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The two are expected to make their statements over their respective radio and television stations at 2 p.m. local time, Israeli officials reported. The head of Barak's bureau, Gilad Sher, said both sides were finalizing technical details following an agreement between...
Barak,,Arafat,Issue,Identical,Statement,Reduce,Violence
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Thursday, 02 November 2000 12:00 AM
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