Israel faces war threat : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Israel faces war threat

Baghdad - Iraq is mobilising volunteers for "the jihad (holy war) in Palestine" and giving five million euros ($4.35 million) towards the uprising against Israel, the official press proclaimed on Monday.

The decisions were reached at a top-level meeting chaired by President Saddam Hussein "to support the valiant intifada and the Palestinian mujahedeen to pursue their heroic fight on the road to liberating Palestine".

"Camps will be opened to complete the military training of volunteers for the jihad." The defence ministry would give priority to those who have already undergone army training.

Millions of Iraqis have been put through basic training in recent years in response to rallying cries against the United States and Britain, which bomb Iraq frequently as part of a containment policy following the 1991 Gulf War.

The five million euros would go to families of those killed in the clashes and towards the uprising. Iraq would also send medical aid and doctors to the Palestinian territories and treat the wounded in Iraq.

Fighting between Palestinians and Israelis have left more than 90 people dead.

Iraq, which opposes the Middle East peace process, will consider the Palestinian dead - the vast majority of the toll - as "martyrs of the Mother of All Battles", the name Baghdad gives to the Gulf War.

Death toll mounting

Meanwhile, a second Arab Israeli man wounded in clashes with Jews in the northern Israeli town of Nazareth died early on Monday.

Wasim Yazbik, 26, was shot in the chest during the clashes on Sunday evening. It was unclear whether he had been hit by Israeli police or residents of the Jewish area of the town, Israel's biggest Arab centre.

Another Arab, Mohammed Omar Akawi, 42, was shot in the heart and died on Sunday.

Yazbik's death brings the toll in the wave of violence to 94 killed, 78 of them Palestinians. Twelve Israeli Arab civilians have been killed along with three Israeli Jews and one Israeli Druze border guard.

Talks to end the violence Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat arrived in Cairo on Monday for talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak about the violence in the region, sources said.

Arafat made no statement upon arrival at Cairo international airport.

His visit comes after Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak on Sunday asked Mubarak to urge the Palestinian leader to bring a return to "complete calm", Israel's ambassador to Egypt said.

Barak sent a message asking "Mubarak to intervene with Mr Arafat to help re-establish complete calm in Israel and in the West Bank as quickly as possible," Ambassador Zvi Mazel told reporters.

"Barak gave his view of the events in Israel and in the West Bank," he said.

Mazel said Barak also explained in the message why he did not travel last week to Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, where Mubarak had wanted to gather Barak together with Arafat and US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

He did not elaborate.

Call to end deadly clashes

Barak on Saturday gave the Palestinians two days to end the deadly clashes with Israeli forces that have shaken the region since 28 September or face the end of the peace process.

A Palestinian spokesperson said Arafat would return to Gaza early in the afternoon before meeting UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who will already have seen Barak on the first leg of a peacemaking mission.

Meanwhile, Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Mussa cut short a two-day official visit to Turkey on Monday to return for Cairo to discuss the escalating violence between the Palestinians and Israelis.

Mussa told reporters in Aankara that he had been summoned back by Mubarak.

"Things have become a bit more serious in the last few hours. We need to consult on how to move forward, whether there could be steps to be taken," Mussa said after meeting his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem.,1113,2-10-35_923613,00.html

-- Martin Thompson (, October 09, 2000

Moderation questions? read the FAQ