Tags: Israeli | Official: | 'There | Cease-Fire'

Israeli Official: 'There Is No Cease-Fire'

Thursday, 20 September 2001 12:00 AM

The Ha'aretz newspaper's Web site reported Thursday that Sharon called U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell early Thursday to say that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was not living up to the cease-fire promised earlier this week. Israel on Tuesday agreed to the cease-fire, first called by Arafat on Monday, saying that if there were 48 hours of quiet in the region, it would agree to high-level negotiations.

However, on Thursday Israel charged that, in a series of apparent cease-fire violations, Palestinian forces killed a woman as she rode with her family, injured two civilian guards and five soldiers. Israeli forces retaliated with tank fire in Hebron, killing one Palestinian. Israel Radio said Fatah groups - the Fatah Tanzim and al-Aksa Brigades - assumed responsibility for some of the attacks. Other groups, notably Hamas, rejected Arafat's call for a cease-fire

"The cease-fire was kept for a few hours, for about 20 hours, and then there was an outburst of terror attacks along the entire front," Sharon said.

"I am sorry the Palestinian Authority hasn't kept its undertaking (to cease attacks) and today we shall decide what to do."

Plans had been in the works for a meeting between Arafat and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, but the Israelis would only agree to the sessions if the cease-fire held for 48 hours. The violence early Thursday led Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat to tell The Voice of Palestine Radio station that contacts over a meeting were continuing, but the time and the place won't be set "as long as the Israeli government puts conditions and obstacles for this meeting."

Sharon media adviser Raanan Gissin told United Press International that Arafat "has not taken a strategic decision to stop (attacks), perhaps only a tactical one to lessen attacks."

"Fire hasn't stopped so there is no cease-fire," he said.

However, there seemed to be more moderate views even inside Sharon's Likud Party. Justice Minister Meir Sheetrit said that if Arafat would agree to take "real steps" against Hamas and Hezbollah, arrest them, cooperate with Israel, "and we'll see a 100 percent effort, I would be for a return to the negotiating table."

Peres told army radio that the Cabinet would "check Arafat's overall policy, what orders he issued, what attacks he prevented."

"... The picture we are getting now is that this time he took the matter seriously, and he really wants to reduce terror so that the accusing finger won't be directed at him."

International pressure has mounted for an end to a year of Israeli-Palestinian violence, which is seen as an obstacle to U.S. efforts to recruit Arab states for a global anti-terrorism alliance after last week's terrorism attacks on New York and Washington.

Copyright 2001 by United Press International. All rights reserved.

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The Ha'aretz newspaper's Web site reported Thursday that Sharon called U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell early Thursday to say that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was not living up to the cease-fire promised earlier this week. Israel on Tuesday agreed to the...
Israeli,Official:,'There,Cease-Fire'
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2001-00-20
Thursday, 20 September 2001 12:00 AM
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