Tags: Israel | Starts | Partial | Pullback | Under | Cease-Fire

Israel Starts Partial Pullback Under Cease-Fire

Sunday, 30 September 2001 12:00 AM

Military officers from both sides in the Middle East conflict met at various West Bank sites to coordinate security measures related to the deal to restore a measure of peace that has eluded both sides during a year of intense fighting.

A similar meeting among Israeli and Palestinian officers on the Gaza Strip is expected Monday, an Israeli military source told United Press International. He said the officers would consider "a whole list of items " including security coordination, how to allow movement of Palestinian security personnel from one area to another and prevention of a recurrence of violent demonstrations.

Palestinian radio reported that Peres met on Sunday with chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat and parliamentary speaker Ahmed Qurea and discussed the full implementation of the cease-fire on the ground. Erekat said in a radio interview afterward that the atmosphere of the hourlong meeting had been "very tense."

No decisions were reached at the meeting, he said.

The radio report said the meeting was held to discuss steps being taken and those still to be undertaken to implement recommendations made earlier this year by U.S. CIA Director George Tenet, and to make the cease-fire a lasting reality.

adding that the meeting ended without achieving any results.

Erekat said the Palestinian side presented Peres a paper that included what he described as "Israeli violations" in the Palestinian territories since a meeting last Wednesday meeting between Peres and Arafat.

"We told Mr. Peres that we want to see the implementation of the signed agreements on the ground," said Erekat, adding that the two sides agreed to meet again sometime after the Jewish Sukkot holiday Tuesday.

The United States has been pressing the Israelis and Palestinians to come to terms on a truce. The Bush administration considers an easing of tension in the Middle East necessary for it to obtain the support of Islamic nations for its anti-terrorism campaign in response to the Sept. 11 attacks on New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

Israeli government minister Zippi Livni told reporters on Sunday that the government's security cabinet had decided to honor the military's undertakings during the first 96 hours of the agreement - a period that began Friday and ends Tuesday - despite continued Palestinian attacks. Livni said there were more than 60 Palestinian attacks over the weekend and complained that the Palestinians were not living up to their end of the agreement.

Israel has submitted two lists of suspected terrorists it wants the Palestinians to arrest. Peres gave Arafat a short list of 10 to 20 names and addresses of those it wants arrested soonest, and relayed another list of about 100 names through different channels, Livni said.

Palestinian officials have said that they would not make the arrests in the manner Israel is demanding, but would arrest anyone found to have broken Palestinian law.

Livni told UPI that U.S. officials know who the suspected terrorists are. CIA representatives are attending the cease-fire meetings of the Israeli and Palestinian military officers.

The Israeli minister hinted that his government might suspend its early-stage implementation of the cease-fire if the fighting continues. "After the first 96 hours the Israeli government will decide what the next step will be," he said.

At least 12 Palestinians have been killed in clashes with Israeli soldiers since Friday, which marked the first anniversary of the Palestinian intifada, or uprising.

On Sunday, Israeli troops shot and killed an armed Palestinian man in the Israeli-controlled sector of Hebron, a military source said. It was later learned that the man was a Palestinian police officer. Palestinian medical sources said two civilians were shot dead at an Israeli checkpoint in the West Bank city of Jenin when soldiers opened fire on a taxi in which the pair was riding

More than 800 Palestinians and almost 200 Israelis have been killed in the yearlong violence.

The Rafah border terminal had been shut and opened more than 16 times over the past year, a Palestinian Authority spokesman said, adding that if the cease-fire is implemented in full, Israel will keep the terminal open 24 hours rather than the 9 a.m.-4 p.m. opening on Sunday.

Copyright 2001 by United Press International. All rights reserved.

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Military officers from both sides in the Middle East conflict met at various West Bank sites to coordinate security measures related to the deal to restore a measure of peace that has eluded both sides during a year of intense fighting. A similar meeting among Israeli and...
Israel,Starts,Partial,Pullback,Under,Cease-Fire
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2001-00-30
Sunday, 30 September 2001 12:00 AM
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