Arafat lashes out at Israel : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Sunday, September 3 8:26 PM SGT

Arafat lashes out at Israel, warns that Jerusalem in "danger" CAIRO, Sept 3 (AFP) - Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat lashed out at Israel in a key address to the Arab League here Sunday, warning that he would not make peace if Palestinian rule over Jerusalem is compromised.

"Jerusalem is in danger. We are at a decisive crossroads," Arafat told a meeting of Arab foreign ministers, accusing Israel of trying to move the goal posts of peace.

The Palestinian leaders complained that "weeks had passed" since the US-sponsored Camp David summit ended in failure July 25, "without the Israeli side budging from its stubborn position."

The deadlock in Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations showed no signs of easing as Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak said in Jerusalem he would do nothing on the peace track until he sees signs of flexibility from Arafat.

Arafat, for his part, charged that the Jewish state was trying to ignore the principle of land for peace and to "reduce peace to an empty shell."

Israel is trying "to make fairy tales more legitimate and real than the facts of history," he said at the opening session of the Arab League meeting which has been dubbed the "Jerusalem session."

"We will accept no solution that limits Palestinian sovereignty over (Jerusalem) and does not guarantee the return of the holy places, especially al-Haram al-Sharif," he said in an address at the Arab League.

Al-Haram al-Sharif, or the Noble Sanctuary, also known as the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, is the third holiest site in Islam.

The place is known to Jews as Temple Mount, the site of the Jewish temple destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD and whose last standing remnant is the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism.

"We will continue our battle for independence and sovereignty," the Palestinian leader added, evoking the Palestinian intifada, or uprising, against Israel which flared in the late 1980s.

He also insisted that any peace deal must secure the Palestinian "right to establish an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital."

Control over east Jerusalem and its holy places, which Israel captured in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, is the biggest stumbling block to efforts to forge a comprehensive peace accord between the two sides.

"Israel claims that Israeli law is higher than international law and the resolutions of international legitimacy which require Israel's complete withdrawal from ... the Palestinian territories including Jerusalem," he said.

Arafat added that the Palestinians would not sign an agreement acknowledging that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was over "until after all the rights of Arabs, Muslims and Christian in our lands have been reinstated."

Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Mussa said Saturday night that the meeting at the League's Cairo headquarters will "assert the unanimous Arab support for the Palestinian negotiations on Jerusalem and other matters."

The Arabs are insisting on Palestinian sovereignty over the eastern sector of Jerusalem, the city which both the Israelis and Palestinians want as their internationally recognised capital.

In addition to the Jerusalem question and the peace process, the Arab League ministerial council was also due to discuss other items of Arab League business.

-- Martin Thompson (, September 04, 2000


This is a little out of my normal contributions, but after reading a lot of different sources this seems to getting serious. The Arab countries seem to be standing firm and Arafat continues to push the evelope. The September 13th deadline is coming up fast and who knows what can happen. Patriot missles, chinese in Sudan, etc.

-- Martin Thompson (, September 04, 2000.

Monday, 4 September, 2000, 17:11 GMT 18:11 UK

Benami has 'secret' talks in Morocco

The acting Israeli Foreign Minister, Shlomo Ben Ami, is reported to have had talks in Morocco today on moves to unblock the Middle East peace process.

Israel radio said Mr Ben Ami paid a secret visit during which he met King Mohamed and the Foreign Minister, Mohamed Benaissa, in the southern city of Agadir. The talks come days before the Israeli and Palestinian leaders are due to have separate meetings with President Clinton in New York. Meanwhile, a senior Palestinian official has indicated it's unlikely that statehood will be declared as planned next week.

The head of the PLO's political department, Faruq Qaddumi, said the thirteenth of September was not a sacred date and that as long as peace negotiations were continuing he did not think there would be a declaration then.

-- Martin Thompson (, September 04, 2000.

The head of the PLO's political department, Faruq Qaddumi, said the thirteenth of September was not a sacred date and that as long as peace negotiations were continuing he did not think there would be a declaration then.

Maybe a bit of backsliding?

-- Martin Thompson (, September 04, 2000.

Arafat confers with CIA chief Palestine, Politics, 9/4/2000

Palestinian President Yasser Arafat on Saturday evening in Ramullah met with the chairman of the CIA George Tenet, currently visiting Israel and the Palestinian self-rule area.

The Israeli radio said the US official stressed to Arafat that the US President Bill Clinton is determinant to exert all possible efforts in order to reach an agreement between the Israeli and Palestinian sides until the end of his term of office and that time is running out.

For its part, Palestinian sources said that Israel will not permit the CIA head to visit al-Aqsa mosque.

At the meantime, the US-ME peace process coordinator Dennis Ross on Saturday returned back after his failure in achieving any breakthrough in the negotiations between the Israeli and Palestinian sides.

Meantime, Israel's prime minister Ehud Barak said that so far no date has been fixed to convene a tripartite meeting between him, the US President Bill Clinton and the chairman of the Palestinian President Yasser Arafat in New York this week.

The Israeli radio quoted Barak as saying during the cabinet meeting on Sunday that he found no flexibility at the Palestinian side or indication on what he described as openness that would help the promotion of negotiations forward.

By the end of the week, Barak made telephone calls with the French President Jacques Chirac, the Finnish President and Germany's chancellor and discussed with them the Palestinian - Israeli negotiations following the failure of the recent Camp David negotiations. The Israeli radio reported.

-- Martin Thompson (, September 04, 2000.

Tuesday, September 5, 2000 On Sunday in Cairo, the Arab League announced its support for Palestinian quest to win sovereignty over Jerusalem and threatened to sever ties with any state that moves its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. While addressing Arab foreign ministers, Palestinian President Yasser Arafat vowed to keep working for a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, however, he did not say when the state might be declared. A reference to September 13 was not made. On Monday, at the end of the two-day summit, Arafat left to New York to participate in the United Nations Millennium summit where he will meet with U.S. President Bill Clinton. That same day, on a mission to rescue the peace process with the Palestinians, Acting Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami met with Moroccan King Mohammed. In reference to the UN summit, Ben-Ami told King Mohammed that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak "was not brining new ideas to New York, but instead expected answers from Arafat."

-- Martin Thompson (, September 05, 2000.

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