Tags: U.S. | Rejects | Israeli | Call | Dump | Arafat

U.S. Rejects Israeli Call to Dump Arafat

Friday, 08 February 2002 12:00 AM

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a top aide to the Palestinian leader, said Bush's statement "is one step in the right direction that has to be followed by other steps related to pressuring Israel to end its military aggression on the Palestinian people."

Bush told Sharon at a White House meeting that the United States would continue to pressure Arafat to crack down on militants.

Palestinian officials condemn the Israeli operation, which includes roadblocks and other restrictions that have paralyzed the Palestinian economy during the surge in violence.

"Applying pressure only on President Arafat will only lead to an increase in the wave of violence and tension in the region," Abu Rudeineh told reporters in Ramallah.

He called upon Israel "to respect the roles of the peace process in order to achieve a new breakthrough in this process that would save the whole region from more violent deterioration."

Israel has confined Arafat to his West Bank headquarters in Ramallah since December.

The Palestinian response to Sharon's White House visit came as a Palestinian boy died in a police chase after a young Israeli woman was stabbed while hiking in a valley between predominantly Arab east and Jewish west Jerusalem.

The death occurred at noon at Peace Forest, close to U.N. headquarters in town.

Jerusalem police spokesman Superintendent Kobi Zrihen told United Press International that several masked Palestinian youngsters stabbed the woman, and her boyfriend ran uphill to a police jeep and reported the attack.

The 25-year-old woman was in "very serious condition" suffering from multiple chest wounds, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Police in a helicopter pursued the suspects and opened fire when the Palestinian youth did not heed a call to stop. One Palestinian sustained a slight hand injury and was treated at the scene. Another was caught and collapsed. Police then detained a third who confessed to having stabbed the woman and picked up the fourth, who was hiding at his home.

Israel Radio said the dead boy was 14, but Zrihen said he was checking the report.

Also Friday, Israeli troops entered several Palestinian-ruled areas in the West Bank and arrested at least three suspected militants. Israel Radio reported one of the militants arrested was Islamic Jihad activist Jamal Shahadi. Palestinians fired on the soldiers, but no one was wounded.

Israeli units moved into the village of Tamun near Jenin "to hit terrorists and terror infrastructure," an Israel Defense Forces spokesman said, adding the move was needed because the Palestinian Authority is not preventing terrorists from leaving Palestinian terrority.

Also, a bomb exploded near an army roadblock between Bethlehem and Jerusalem, the army said. Apparently it exploded prematurely, killing its carrier.

Infantry, tank and engineering units took positions in the outskirts of Nablus and tightened the closure on the town. The army spokesman said Nablus has become "a focus of terror and a haven for terrorists."

The spokesman noted the Palestinians had manufactured the Qassam-2 rockets found Wednesday in Nablus and that the militant who entered the settlement of Hamra, killing a woman, her 11-year-old daughter and a soldier also came from Nablus.

The Maariv newspaper said Friday that Israeli security officials have asked the Palestinians to move against terror activists in Jenin, Nablus and Tul Karem, but the Palestinians responded they could not. It was a confession they have lost control, Maariv noted.

Copyright 2002 by United Press International.

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Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a top aide to the Palestinian leader, said Bush's statement is one step in the right direction that has to be followed by other steps related to pressuring Israel to end its military aggression on the Palestinian people. Bush told Sharon at a White...
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2002-00-08
Friday, 08 February 2002 12:00 AM
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